Community Architects: The Next Generation

Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellows

For a hint at what the next generation of architects are working on, take a look at this year’s class of Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellows, all of whom are attempting to combine quality design and affordable housing. Each fellow spends three years working in an underserved community, interacting with locals, and coming up with ideas for green buildings that best serve the surrounding area.

The 2010 class is working toward some pretty ambitious goals. Juan Calaf is creating design standards in Puerto Rico that blend locally available sustainable materials with community planning principles. Joann Ware is working with the InterIm Community Development Agency in Seattle to incorporate health, intergenerational community-building and neighborhood engagement into sustainable building projects.

It will take years before these projects get off the ground, but a glimpse at the work of past fellows is encouraging.  Jess Wendover’s Eastside Cultural Center, Laura Shipman’s Parcel G Supportive Housing Development, and Nathaniel Corum’s Environmental Research Center are all examples of successful projects that changed disadvantaged communities for the better. All told, 31 Enterprise Rose fellows have designed over 46 buildings and produced 5,500 affordable, energy-efficient homes across the U.S. in the decade since the fellowship began. This year’s class of fellows has, in other words, a lot to live up to.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.AS