New Urban Builders

Site Area

102,400 sf /2.4 Acres

Number of Units

64 live-work flexhouses

Estimated Project Cost

$10 million

Design Features

  • Solid streetfront provides sound buffering from railroad noise
  • Mixed use flexhouses serve to mediate between single family residences and the railroad
  • Flexhouse live-work adds diversity to an otherwise entirely residential neighborhood

Greenfield Flexhouses as a Transitional Building Type

Set in Chico, California, a small city in the northern Central Valley and home to a state university, Westside Place is a mixed-use project located between an arterial road and a rail freight line. It consists of attached and detached single family and duplex units and a small amount of convenience retail. In part because the railroad tracks are raised on a berm and their potential noise and vibration are an issue, TDA was engaged to design transitional buildings to buffer the housing from the rail line. These Flexhouses or adaptable “Buildings that Learn,” help to meet the significant local demand for home-based businesses and workspaces.

Organized as eight-unit courtyard buildings, the Flexhouses at Westside are three-level townhouses whose first floor is intended to be work space, spare room, office, or recreation room, depending on the needs of the current resident. Upstairs are living spaces that can be accessed directly from the interior of the units or via a separate entrance. Six out of eight units in each building open onto the central, semi-public courtyard; the two relate directly to the street. The eight buildings comprise a strong street wall defining the edge of the residential portion of the project while buffering the sound of the passing freight trains. All parking is shielded from the street with adjacent Flexhouse buildings sharing both driveways and aisle ways.

Project Type: Live-Work Courtyard Communities / Mixed use urban design / Townhouses, Mews, Compounds and Flexhouse

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