Urban Habitats


Urban Habitats aims to generate a culturally and climatically responsive housing development model to transform Sunrise Trailer Court into a sustainable and affordable community called Sunrise Park. To reach this goal, a connection to existing Moores Creek eco-system is established by creation of a green corridor between the site and Rivanna Trail. The eco-system is continued through a central axis within the competition site which is to be a pedestrian green to emphasize sense of community.

Central community green is designed to provide a sustainable eco-park for the residents and users of commercial-office spaces with restricted vehicle access for emergency and service purposes. Central community green and upper deck of residential green are housed on two different platforms to provide privacy for residents. Sunrise Drive; that is currently used as a major axis for vehicular and pedestrian movement on the site; is regenerated to provide a sense of continuum of characteristics of Sunrise Trailer Court into the future.


The development will include innovative combination of mixed-income units with compact efficient floor plans and office-commercial spaces. All affordable and market rate rental units, homeowner units and condominiums will be multiples of factory manufactured, timber framed boxes. The main pre-fab planning module is to be 14×14 feet in plan with a floor height of 10 feet. Timber framed modular boxes will easily be transported to site for assembly. Boxes will be assembled on site by the help of Sunrise Residents with the employment of a small movable crane.

Modular boxes will be brought together to create a variety of compact floor plans as described in the competition brief to answer the needs of potential residents. Parking level and commercial-office level are planned to be built on site to provide a base for modular boxes to be secured to. Boxes will be built by using green building materials and techniques in factory allowing flexibly provided window openings and unit orientations to meet diverse site conditions.

Other conceptual issues the box concept solves are:

  • easy coordination of phased construction
  • design for durability and low maintenance by applying eco-materials
  • adaptation to changing community needs.