Located on a vacant parcel in the Transit Oriented Development zone near downtown Providence, Summer Street Apartments is a new construction project containing 176 1-bedroom units, creating permanent supportive housing for people who have experienced homelessness.
KITE has deployed a number of human-centered design techniques to allow Crossroads Rhode Island to provide housing safely, effectively, and with respect. These design strategies draw upon research that KITE has gathered as part of its ongoing BEE Study work, and uses scientific finding on how people’s well-being is dramatically affected by our buildings.
A large landscaped courtyard will provide greenspace for residents and their guests. This access to nature and greenery has been demonstrated to be important to mental health. It also features a meeting room for community use. Special attention has been made to sight lines and visual cues for safety and way finding. Floors are themed with seasons (Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn) to promote a sense of identity and community among residents, and help navigation within the building. Universal design is used throughout to provide accessibility and usability for a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities.
The exterior is clad in a thin-brick that uses optical effects to suggest depth. The gradient pattern evokes traditional urban forms with a red-brick base, and was developed to take advantage of how our minds interpret light, pattern, and forms. Upper bays step back to reflect the site boundaries, and create visual interest at the roofline. Common rooms punctuate the north facade on the upper levels and provide space for meetings and gatherings.
All power for the building will be solar-generated. The project is enrolled in National Grid’s Zero Net Energy program, with efficiency measure that beat the energy code by approximately 47% while eliminating use of fossil fuels. The savings will help the long-term economic resiliency of the project and avoid 273 metric tons of CO2 each year.