Urban Housing

Realism and Innovation

Faculty members at The School of Architecture are inventing viable new housing types for New England’s aging cities both in the design studio and in practice. Each semester students focus on one of the region’s urban neighborhoods and its housing stock. They analyze the existing market and regulatory context to understand the factors that influence parking, structural systems, building heights, and floor plan efficiencies. Fortified with this practical knowledge, students are empowered to propose meaningful innovations that include new types of units, thoughtfully conceived spaces, and unprecedented amenities.

New Types

Working with a deep understanding of the housing stock that comprises much of New England’s urban neighborhoods—including the ubiquitous triple-decker—faculty members have created new types that meet today’s market demands for on-site parking, handicapped accessible units, and flexible lifestyle choices. The results have been remarkable. Professor Tim Love’s firm, Utile, Inc., has invented new takes on four-story wood frame housing, from multi-unit apartment buildings to new interpretations of the traditional rowhouse and triple-decker. In addition to supplying real innovation to the market and policy-makers, the housing studios are yet another manifestation of Northeastern University’s commitment to urban engagement.