Live/Work Idea Explored by Landmark Project

by WOHe

Live/Work Idea Explored by Landmark
Project


ATLANTA Home-based businesses are growing at a rapid pace, despite
the fact that few homes today have the layout, product mix and
technical capacity to accommodate the increasing number of
live/work arrangements.

At the same time, a growing number of cities are attempting to
lure residents by building and remodeling downtown units aimed at
sparking new life in formerly blighted areas.

The fusion of those two ideas that of blending functioning
businesses into contemporary and appealing living environments
served as the underpinning for “Live/Work 2001,” a groundbreaking
new project that was on display at the 2001 International Builders
Show here in February.

The innovative three-home urban project was undertaken by
Miami-based architects Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, along
with builder Beazer Homes USA and Builder magazine. The homes were
sponsored by a number of leading manufacturers, including Moen
Inc., Whirlpool Corp., the Kohler Co.-owned Canac Kitchens,
Crossville Ceramics and Triangle Pacific Corp.

Two social issues
The Live/Work 2001 project, organizers noted, was aimed at
presenting viable solutions to two pressing social issues with
important implications for home builders and residential
remodelers, including kitchen and bath designers. 

“Live/Work 2001 sends a strong message to the building industry
and the home-buying public,” project organizers said. “First, it
demonstrates the viability of building in urban markets for
different target buyers at a time when suburban growth
opportunities are being limited. Second, it showcases homes with
fully functioning offices, located at street level for walk-in
customers. Few builders offer new homes with offices equipped to
run a business.”

While the kitchens and baths featured in the trio of Live/Work
2001 units on display were not exceptional unto themselves, they
managed to vividly illustrate some of the possibilities opening up
to kitchen/bath space planners who become active in what’s being
called the “New Urbanism.”
According to the latest statistics, there were more than 55 million
people working from home in the U.S. last year, while up to 8,000
people a day join the home-working movement. “Most new homes built
today are obsolete as soon as someone wants to work from them,
especially in urban areas where professionals need to meet with
clients,” Live/Work 2001 organizers added.

Three units
The Live/Work project demonstrated some of the design and product
possibilities available in three distinctly different types of
dwellings.

  • The Loft, the most affordable of the three units, is a
    1,060-sq.-ft., two-story workspace that opens to an upstairs
    bedroom loft. A built-in desk overlooks the workspace from the
    upstairs balcony, and a rear courtyard provides for mid-day escapes
    or evening get-togethers.. The living room and kitchen are combined
    on the first floor in one great area.
  • The Livabove is designed to rejuvenate the original “Main
    Street USA” tradition of living above a business. It is a
    3,666-sq.-ft. classic unit that features a large workspace with a
    12-foot ceiling on the first floor and living space above.
    Reflecting the industrial/urban theme, the unit includes textured
    faux wall finishes and stained trim characteristic of the turn of
    the 19th century. On the first floor, a work space, kitchenette and
    bath with shower are universally designed. The second floor
    consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom,
    master bath, deck off the master bath, and stairs to a courtyard
    off of the kitchen. The third floor consists of a loft area with
    two bedrooms and a Jack-and-Jill bath.
  • The Lifespan model is a live/work home with design features
    that can follow the evolving needs of a growing family or
    home-based business. It consists of a 3,644-sq.-ft. space whose
    front workspace can be combined via an ingenious door system with
    the two bedrooms and bath above it to create a rental unit by
    closing off the doors leading to the kitchen. A contemporary
    kitchen layout provides views of an enclosed outdoor garden that
    can be used as a workday retreat. In keeping with the industrial
    theme, a reproduction 4-ft.-wide “warehouse” rolling door with
    wrought iron separates the breakfast and dining areas to create a
    flexible space for parties.

Each of the units featured CAT 5 wiring, home computer networks,
video security monitoring and a wealth of other new
technologies.

“Roughly 20 million people operate a business from home,”
commented Boyce Thompson, 
a spokesman for the project. “Another 30 million [or so] take work
home, or operate satellite offices [and telecommute].

“These homes point to a huge new business opportunity for
builders, and an exciting new option for buyers,” he concluded.

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