The proposal demonstrates a sustainable development approach that transforms the obsolete industrial structure into an affordable housing complex with maximized public interface. The primary objective of this approach is to preserve the embodied energy and engrained memory of the structure. The proposed design comprises the following features:
1) Retrofitting residential programs into the existing framework by carefully subtracting the existing structures and infilling the “stilt” system - a sustainable heavy timber structure system - that serves as a host for community spaces and outdoor greenspaces. The “stilt” is a physical manifestation of society’s shift in values from prioritizing maximum functionality to upholding sustainability and social welfare.
2) Incorporating a new economic model for affordable housing through a subsidy and incubation program, coupled with a creative spatial configuration that enhances the sense of community.
3) Weaving public passages into the existing complex and creating urban courtyards which will house cultural programs and local retailers. The maximized public interface will render the new complex the cultural gateway to Upham’s Corner.
Finally, a new signage “Leon Electric” is added atop the “stilt”, in honor of its legacy, symbolically acknowledging its past cultural prosperity and boldly announcing the successful reinhabitation to the public.