312 College Avenue Apartments
Located in the collegetown neighborhood of Ithaca, New York, this building presented a number of design challenges. There is a 40-foot grade differential between the front and rear of the site, narrow street frontage, and virtually no setback from the lot lines. Local laws restrict the maximum allowable building height. The owner wanted an elegant, technologically advanced building to take advantage of the high-end of the housing market. The construction schedule was extremely aggressive, with much of the building being constructed during the cold northern winter. We responded by designing a building whose masonry exterior skin is load-bearing and is functional, economical, and aesthetically satisfying. The building contains six floors of apartment spaces—one more than a framed system could have accommodated within the legal height limits—as well as one floor of mechanical spaces above ground and two below-ground levels of parking. Interior and exterior load-bearing walls use reinforced concrete masonry units, with floors constructed of 10-inch, untopped, precast concrete planks.