Core Design Team

Firm: Access Architecture

Brendan Sanchez
Principal | AIA, NOMA, NCARB,

Amanda Morgan
Project Manager + Researcher
Architect, AIA

Sasha Frenkel
Project Architect | NCARB

Jackie Buckley
Job Captain

Tycien Chaney
Designer | Assoc. AIA, LEED GA


Owner | Developer: Vancouver Housing Authority
Contractor: TEAM Construction
Architect: Access Architecture
Civil Engineer: Otak
Landscape Architect: Method Landscape Architecture (formerly Ecotone)
Structural Engineer: Waypoint Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Arris Consulting
Plumbing: Arris Consulting
Electrical Engineer: Landis Consulting
Envelope Consultant: Richard Graves
Sustainability Consultant: Keel Energy

Project Information

Status: Permitting
Size: 25,039 GSF 40 units
Funding: LIHTC
Construction Cost: ~$10 million (preliminary cost estimate)
Sustainable Certifications: Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS)
Key Features: Affordable Housing, Special Needs Population, Trauma-Informed Design, Landscaping, Mid-Rise, Durable Building Materials, Community Spaces, Community Gardens, Hardscape/Plaza, Outdoor Gathering Spaces, LIHTC, ESDS.

Project Narrative

Lincoln Place II is a new four-story, permanent supportive housing project to be located on a 0.27-acre site at 1110 W 13th Street in Vancouver, WA. The new building will connect to the existing Lincoln Place I development via a single, ground floor connection.

Building Inspiration
The exterior design of Lincoln Place II is inspired by its residents, who will be transitioning from houselessness to a stable and permanent residence. A hard outer shell is intentionally pulled back in areas to reveal a soft and warm core, much like the experience of being houseless can have a hardening effect on one’s life. The carved-out areas offer a deeper look into the building while also providing a visually interesting patterning along the facade.

Lincoln Place II draws upon a combination of contextual analysis and projects of similar typology. The urban pedestrian experience is enhanced through a combination of floor-to-ceiling windows and a large mural used to demarcate the main entry and activate the streetscape. The result is a building that defines the urban street edge while providing layers of visual interest rooted in timeless design principles.

The massing is lifted off the ground and over a base, giving the project strong imagery of foundation and stability. Portions of the building are carved away at the upper three levels to help define the massing. At the ground level, a wedge of the building is also removed to accentuate a sense of arrival and help define the building entrance. Drawing on the design language of the building carving out at the ground floor, South and West facing portions of the building are carved out and angled, providing visual interest to the façade..

Building Integration
Lincoln Place II is located in the Esther Short Neighborhood, surrounded by mostly single-family residential, low-rise industrial, and commercial buildings. The buildable footprint is maximized for the site, given the site constraints. While a 200-foot tall building was possible per zoning code, a height of 45 feet allows the building to integrate better into it’s surrounding context.
The physical connection to Lincoln Place I created some design challenges. How does Lincoln Place II respond thoughtfully to the design of Lincoln Place I while also maintaining its own design aesthetic? The project team decided to maintain a similar scale and architectural language: a distinct base, dual volumes, carve out at upper levels, playful window bays, and a flat roof. This allowed Lincoln Place II to have its own aesthetic while still complimenting Lincoln Place I. The massing of Lincoln Place II is tallest facing the street, and steps down towards Lincoln Place I. A portion of the North façade steps back from the adjacent Lincoln Place I site, creating an outdoor space for tenants to gather.

Guiding Principles
Cost-efficient design, construction, and operation have been a top priority through all design phases. Extensive experience in affordable housing projects has made our design team proficient at using standard materials creatively and identifying high-impact areas where cost-effective accents can add value and unique character. As an example, on Lincoln Place II, the use of brick on the ground floor level will bring added durability and help to create a sense of permanence and human scale to the public domain, while upper levels use more cost-effective fiber cement. Additional cost-efficient design strategies on Lincoln Place II include:

  • Maximize repetition as a means to achieve economies of scale. The number of different conditions (unit layouts, exterior details, appliances, building systems, etc) will be minimized.
  • Utilize double-loaded corridors, while still maintaining opportunities for daylight and views through corridor ends.
  • Design unit layouts to locate plumbing walls in close proximity to one another, to shorten piping runs and allow collective serving of units.
  • Utilize prefabricated wall framing to lower labor costs and construction duration.
  • Utilize cost effective, time-tested, and durable materials such as vinyl windows, fiber cement siding, and vinyl plank flooring. Where accent materials are used, such as exterior brick, they will add value through their low-maintenance needs.
  • High performance building envelope, MEP, and durable materials which should lower operating costs.

Trauma-Informed Design Principles (safety, empowerment, hope, connection, joy, and peace of mind), were applied to the design producing project-specific design elements to respond to each value. Some examples of Trauma-Informed Design strategies found in Lincoln Place II:

  • A color palette that feels healing and grounding
  • Universal and flexible furniture selection.
  • Connection to the outdoors & maximizing natural light
  • Clear wayfinding

Universal Design Principles go beyond accommodating physical diversity. Universal Design should also include designing for a wide range of preferences, cognitive abilities, and racial, cultural, and gender diversity. This means creating places that feel welcoming, that are easy to navigate, and inclusive to all. Some additional examples of Universal Design strategies found at Lincoln Place II:

  • Generous clearances and turning space throughout the common areas, units, and site.
  • Increased amounts of natural light throughout the building compared to traditional multifamily housing
  • Multi-purpose spaces with flexible seating for a wide variety of body types and abilities.
  • The design and integration of appropriate and easy to use technology, lighting controls, etc. helps residents have more control over their environment.
  • All-gender restrooms that accommodate all, regardless of their gender-identity or expression.

Environmental Sensitivity
Lincoln Place II will be ESDS Certified, following specific strategies and standards for the building envelope, energy, water, and indoor air quality. Working with a Sustainability Consultant, the project team utilized advanced energy modeling through all phases of the project to assist with intentional decisions around building systems and initial costs vs long-term savings.
Passive design strategies included massing, orientation, strategic use of windows, daylighting, natural ventilation, and a well-insulated air-tight building enclosure with a continuous air barrier. These strategies will reduce energy loss and cut both heating and cooling costs. Deep furring and the carving and angling of the windows on the South and West facades add dimension to the facades while minimizing costly architectural features. The angle and placement of these windows also minimize Southwestern sun exposure.

Compact and efficient unit layouts minimize the energy needed to heat and ventilate dwelling unit spaces. High-efficiency MEP systems, LED lighting, occupancy sensor controls, energy-efficient appliances, and low-flow water saving features help optimize efficiency.

Lincoln Place II uses interior materials that do not contain added urea-formaldehyde, and finishes, adhesives, and other materials will have zero or low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Finishes are durable, sustainable, and cost-efficient.

Social Impact
Lincoln Place II has been designed as a healing and resident-centered environment for those taking their first step out of houselessness. Providing easy access to transportation and services is critical as these residents start building the next stage of their lives. Lincoln Place II is a four-minute walk from the #25 bus line and a short walk to Ester Short Park and many restaurants and stores. An onsite clinic and robust resident services will help residents as they navigate this next stage of their lives.
Lincoln Place II is designed to be easy to navigate and promote different levels of social interaction. Helping facilitate social interaction through design is critical when creating environments that promote independence and self-confidence.

Client Interaction
The owner and architect shared similar goals and objectives for the projects. Through many pre-design conversations some of the shared goals highlighted were:

Creating a project that is:

  • Trauma-informed
  • Durable, sustainable, and cost-effective; using a kit of parts model to maximize efficiencies
  • Inclusive and accessible to residents
  • Safe and secure for residents

Project Team (OAC) meetings and design meetings were frequent throughout the design process, and all parties were included in key design decisions. Staff from Lincoln Place I met with the project team to review Lessons Learned, which was invaluable information that influenced the design.

The relationship between the architect and the owner does not stop when the building is built. Post-occupancy reviews, the standard for all buildings and part of the architect’s Outcome-Based Design approach, were facilitated in May of this year for both projects. Data from those reviews are currently being aggregated and will provide valuable information on the resident’s experience. The architect will meet with the owner to review the results, and this information will inform ownership and resident services for modifications that may need to be made, as well as inform future project designs for the architect.