Mixing Modern Luxury With Country Comfort
Riverfront Place Townhomes
Energy efficient townhomes with a farmhouse feel fit for their location in a region rich with agricultural history.
This townhome development in Wenatchee, Washington was designed to feel simultaneously “spacious and luxurious” and “warm and homey.” A mix of 31 privately-owned and rentable units, the property developer sought to create custom-feeling homes that would be viable long-term investments for not only them, but the future townhome owners.
The development takes full advantage of the quiet, dead-end street on which it is located, with a pedestrian and family-friendly design promoting a connection to the outdoors. The design plays off of Wenatchee’s history of agriculture, taking a modern spin on the American farmhouse with a strong, repeating gable roof form. White board-and-batten siding contrasts with black, multi-lite windows and doors and with the wood accents adding depth to the façade. Lantern-style exterior lighting accentuates heavily flowered landscaping and split-rail fencing. Throughout the property, fruit-bearing trees nod to the region’s well-known staple crops.
Each townhouse unit is family-sized and flexible. Standard 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath layouts are augmented with ground-level flex rooms that can be customized into an additional bedroom, office, or bonus room. The main living areas feature open floor plans and 10-foot ceilings. A small den area off the main living space can be closed off with double barn doors, providing a sense of privacy in the otherwise open interior. Large balconies adjacent to the open plan kitchen, dining, and living spaces extend and connect the main living areas to the outdoors, taking advantage of views to the mountains or nearby Walla Walla Point Park. Each unit also has a private yard, further solidifying each home’s connection to the outdoors.
Throughout the site, pedestrian connections lead residents to the abundant neighborhood amenities, such as the playground, sport courts, barbeques, and swimming areas within Walla Walla Point Park. Paved riverside trails offer even more opportunities for recreation. A directly-connected, adjacent hotel (developed by the same client) hosts restaurants and outdoor patio areas with firepits. By highlighting access to these areas within the design, local, existing amenities enlarge the sense of community and eliminate the need for resident-only amenity spaces within the site.
Designed and permitted through Washington State’s robust 2018 Energy Code, the townhomes feature high-performance elements such as an air-tight building envelope, high-performance windows, heat pump water heaters, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency HVAC systems. To accommodate the additional mechanical systems, we opted for a truss flooring system to allow ducting and ventilation to be woven through the flooring instead of through bulkheads and soffits.
The site was also challenged by a required, on-site firetruck turnaround (made necessary by its street-end location). To accommodate this requirement, we combined the existing site circulation with the turnaround, arranging the townhomes along a U-shaped drive. The result provides a central pedestrian pathway and highlights the symmetrical site layout, adding to the traditional and formal quality of this chic townhouse development.
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