Orchid is a 14 unit mixed use rental housing project with a low income component located in the walkable neighborhood of Normal Heights. The project retains as its namesake a historic structure, a former beauty shop named Orchid, that will become Wildflour, a small take out restaurant, activating the streetside courtyard open to the public 24 hours a day. The designers also created a second large outdoor covered gathering area adjacent to the alley, this one for the use of the tenants.
The units are studio lofts and 18 feet tall, with huge banks of windows providing natural circulation and flooding the spaces with light. Each unit has its own private outdoor space. Art was integrated into the building, not as an afterthought, but as a proforma line item with scopes and budgets within the working drawings. There was no requirement for this, rather, both developer and architect are staunch supporters of the arts and of artists. The project massing creates interlocking courtyards, creates shelter for outdoor uses below, and encourages interaction of its users, creating a tight knit community.
The Society of Master Craftsmen, the forward thinking developer, believes in craft, and in the celebration of makers.