Common Ground, a non-profit organization committed to ending homelessness, asked our firm to design a three-building, 60-apartment affordable housing development for which the basic program and massing were already established, in Willimantic, Connecticut. Cedarwoods is situated on a 20-acre site, half of which is natural wetlands. Three three-storey buildings are organized around a crescent-shaped motor court in the manner of a rambling New England inn, creating a sense of arrival and maximizing views to the wetlands to the north. The buildings are connected by octagonal hinges, creating breaks in the corridors that serve as social spaces between apartments. Amenities include an arts and crafts room, an exercise room, a computer room, and a multipurpose room for resident meetings and community events.
Cedarwoods represents in built form Common Ground's dedication to sustainable and affordable development: cementitious siding, 30-year asphalt shingles, and a brick water table.
Cedarwoods will offer career counseling for disabled, homeless, and low-income tenants to assist their re-entry into the workforce. A color palette of soft blues and grays provides a soothing environment for military veterans residents.