2012 Design Competition Winners

2012 LIHTC Design Competition

In conjunction with the competitive low income housing tax credit round, MFA conducts an independently juried design competition.  Projects selected by the design competition jury are awarded additional Project Selection Criteria points in accordance with the 2012 Qualified Allocation Plan.  While recognizing the good design cannot be boiled-down to checkbox selection criteria, the design competition jury considers each project’s site plan, building design, context and special design, floor plan design, and construction characteristics in their deliberations. In the end, the jury selects for recognition the projects that they believe demonstrates excellence in each of these areas. The projects listed below were recognized in the 2012 LIHTC round as the most outstanding project designs submitted.

1st Place Winner

Name: Casitas de Colores

Location: Albuquerque

Developer: Romero Rose, LLC / YES Housing, Inc.

Architect: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini

No. of Units: 71

Unit Mix:  (4) Studio, (15) 1-Bedroom, (32) 2-Bedroom, (20) 3-Bedroom

Income Mix: 30% AMI, 40% AMI, 50% AMI, and Market Rate

Target Population(s):  Families and Special Needs (5%)

Committee Comments:
The site plan for Casitas de Colores is very well throughout and takes into account the demands of redeveloping an in-fill site in the urban core.  The enclosed courtyards are well scaled and offer a very nice community space where children can play and be seen from the units. A thoughtful landscape design and vegetation enhance the attractiveness of the courtyard and the site.  The tuck-under parking allows greater density, adds to the architectural variety by breaking-up the massing of the buildings and minimizes the “apartments circled by cars” while increasing the convenience for the residents.  The stepping of the facades also assists in breaking up the massing of the buildings and enhances the privacy of the units. The units are very functional and lend to openness, cross-ventilation, and natural lighting. Overall, the design of Casitas de Colores provides an excellent example of an in-fill project that fits its urban context and will increase the appeal of the area.

Link to plans


2nd Place Winner

Name: Sundowner

Location: Albuquerque

Developer: NewLife Homes, Inc.

Architect: Garrett Smith, Ltd.

No. of Units: 71

Unit Mix: (44) 0-Bedroom, (15) 1-Bedroom, (11) 2-Bedroom, (1) 3-Bedroom

Income Mix: 30% AMI, 50% AMI, and Market Rate

Target Population(s): Special Needs (25%)

Committee Comments:
The adaptive reuse of the classic American roadside motel for housing is a challenge that the design team for the Sundowner have managed very nicely. The exterior architecture was effectively transformed to create a much more interesting and attractive façade. The main façade has a good relation to the fronting urban street which promotes pedestrian access. The commercial space and outdoor market area promise to enhance vitality and create a connection to the surrounding community. The transformation of the interior parking area to include more community area and green space with less asphalt was very well done. The additional vegetation and gabion walls proposed for the courtyard will minimize headlights disturbing the residential units.  The sliding gate to the interior courtyard parking is appropriate for the location and compliments the “eyes on the street” approach taken by the design team.

Link to plans


3rd Place Winner

Name: Peachtree Canyon

Location: Las Cruces

Developer: Thomas Development Group (General Partners: Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority / New Mexico Housing Corporation)

Architect: Workshop8

No. of Units: 60

Unit Mix: (20) 2-Bedroom, (40) 3-Bedroom

Income Mix: 50% AMI

Target Population(s):  Special Needs (20%)

Committee Comments:
The site plan for Peachtree Canyon is very imaginative in unflattening the site by developing a strong concept of a natural canyon and arroyo. The placement of the buildings creates a variety of outdoor spaces and views. The variation in building height enhances the buildings’ architectural interest while humanizing their scale. The movable sunscreens, other shading devices, and material choices make the building elevations attractive while adding function.  The incorporation of perimeter elevated walkways, patios and decks, as well as the ample interior space for each function and high ceilings make these units exceptional.  Peachtree Canyon is a rare example of a project that offers density on the urban fringe while maintaining sensitivity to the natural landscape. 

Link to plans