We continue to hear about the increasing popularity of urban living. It seems that many young professionals and empty-nesters appreciate the convenience of living in a place where they can walk to most destinations, have access to public transportation, and enjoy a variety of cultural attractions. Although each city and town offers a variety of both incentives and challenges when building in urban settings, the opportunities certainly seem to be increasing.
Creating appropriate designs for urban housing can also be a challenge. In fact, it’s difficult to arrive at a concise definition for an “urban home.” After all, available sites in most cities range from narrow single-family lots to properties where attached units make more sense.
However, the common elements that seem most critical are building homes that maintain a sense of identity in the existing neighborhood while also offering a sense of privacy and security.
This month, our House Review design team offers several examples of urban homes, each addressing these important elements. While the recurring theme seems to be the use of courtyards, the house structures range from simple traditional forms to more elaborate luxury homes. Each designer has provided thoughtful and often flexible solutions that can be adapted to fit the context of virtually any urban site.