David Baker Architects

Lee Walker Heights


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The neighborhood square at Building II is surrounded by ground-floor common spaces with places to sit, socialize, and play. Image: David Baker Architects


PDF IconLee Walker Heights Master Plan 2016

Download the Master Plan document at the link above.

David Baker Architects is collaborating with local architect McMillan Pazdan Smith, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville (HACA), and Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) to create a Master Plan for the redevelopment of Lee Walker Heights, a small community of 96 public housing units, located on 11.5 acres in Asheville, North Carolina.

Opening in 1951, Lee Walker Heights was the first public-housing development in Asheville. Though the buildings have had modest upgrades over the years, they are currently outdated compared with contemporary building standards, have relatively high maintenance costs, are not universally accessible, and are increasingly isolated from other development in Asheville due to topographic and transit constraints. 

The vision for the project, developed in consultation with current residents, is to replace Asheville’s oldest public housing property with a transformational new mixed-income community, including one-for-one replacement of the 96 subsidized units to be scattered through a total of at least 200 mixed-income units. The Master Plan study area includes a neighboring parcel of 5.5 acres, which may become available for direct or coordinated development in the future. The development team is optimistic that the neighboring Biltmore Avenue property can be added to the project, allowing mixed-use development and expansion to as many as 400 units, with the deeply subsidized units ultimately dispersed throughout both parcels.

The new plan includes increased and improved connections, pedestrian and open-space upgrades throughout the property, a considerable increase in housing capacity, and a diversity of home types. 

 

The Master Plan addresses three primary project goals:
 

Community

• Provide replacement housing.

• Provide facilities and open spaces for social interaction.

• Honor the history of the Lee Walker Heights community.
 

Connectivity

• Create or repair connections to surrounding neighborhoods, amenities, and landscape.

• Provide safe and convenient connections within the rebuilt neighborhood, focusing on creating safe spaces for positive social activities and active play and recreation for kids.
 

Health/Sustainability

• Promote community health and activity through the built environment.

• Provide sustainable site and building strategies for resident health and resource-use reduction.

Aerial View of the proposed Master Plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Trees and small-scale stacked flats and walk-up buildings ring a spacious "great lawn". Image: David Baker Architects

Walker Plaza marks the entry from Biltmore Avenue. A new bus stop, seating areas, and generous landscaping will make this an inviting place for the neighborhood. Image: David Baker Architects

Learn more about the Lee Walker Heights community engagement workshops.

DBA provided Rapid Prototyping Kits, sets of shapes that allow participants to visualize various approaches and "build" their ideal community.

A landmark corner distinguishes the main entry into the Phase 1 development from Biltmore Avenue. Image: David Baker Architects

The neighborhood square at Building II is surrounded by ground-floor common spaces with places to sit, socialize, and play. Image: David Baker Architects

A landmark corner distinguishes the main entry into the Phase 1 development from Biltmore Avenue. Image: David Baker Architects

The neighborhood square at Building II is surrounded by ground-floor common spaces with places to sit, socialize, and play. Image: David Baker Architects

Walker Plaza marks the entry from Biltmore Avenue. A new bus stop, seating areas, and generous landscaping will make this an inviting place for the neighborhood. Image: David Baker Architects

Trees and small-scale stacked flats and walk-up buildings ring a spacious "great lawn". Image: David Baker Architects

"Sociable porches" encourage sidewalk activity, community safety, and socializing. Image: David Baker Architects

Aerial View of the proposed Master Plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Lee Walker Heights current site conditions, with 17 Wilbar and 319 Biltmore sites delineated.

The site plan creates an integrated network of streets, buildings, and open spaces. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: David Baker Architects

Image: David Baker Architects

Building 1 community spaces. Image: David Baker Architects

Building 2 community spaces. Image: David Baker Architects

Four-story apartment building: One of three types of housing incorporated in the new Lee Walker Heights plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Three-story walk-ups: One of three types of housing incorporated in the new Lee Walker Heights plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Two-story stacked flats: One of three types of housing incorporated in the new Lee Walker Heights plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Unit plan: 1-bedroom. Image: David Baker Architects

Unit plan: 2-bedroom. Image: David Baker Architects

Unit plan: 3-bedroom. Image: David Baker Architects

Walk-up unit plan. Image: David Baker Architects

Image: David Baker Architects

Image: David Baker Architects

Street between Buildings 1 and 2: 73-feet wide. Image: David Baker Architects

Walker Avenue, uphill section. 51-feet wide. Image: David Baker Architects

Walker Avenue, downhill section at Biltmore Connection: 58-feet wide. Image: David Baker Architects

DIAGRAM: Uses. Image: David Baker Architects

Diagram: Streets and blocks. Image: David Baker Architects

Diagram: Open space. Image: David Baker Architects

Diagram: Pedestrian and bicycle circulation. Image: David Baker Architects

Diagram: Landmarks. Image: David Baker Architects

Current view toward Lee Walker Heights.

Existing outdated townhouses at Lee Walker Heights.

Lee Walker Heights residents participated in a Community Design Workshop series.

DBA provided Rapid Prototyping Kits, sets of shapes that allow participants to visualize various approaches and "build" their ideal community.

Rapid Prototyping Kit.

Asheville Design Center led a workshop for kids to envision their dream playground.

Playground plan by Asheville Design Center. Image: Asheville Design Center

Download the Master Plan document at the link above.

project details

Category

Affordable Housing, All Projects, On the Boards, Urban Design

​Location

Asheville, North Carolina

Master Planner

David Baker Architects

Sponsor Agency

Asheville Housing Authority (HACA)

Developer

Mountain Housing Opportunities

Architect

David Baker Architects

Architect

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Landscape Architect

Sitework Studios

Play Area Consultant

Asheville Design Center

Civil Engineer

Civil Design Concepts

Permalink

www.dbarchitect.com/LeeWalkerHeights

project data
Lee Walker Heights Master Plan 21502
Asheville, North Carolina
In design
number of units
1 bedroom 168
2 bedroom 172
3 bedroom 60
total 400
density ratios
project sf 613,400
acres 17
total bedrooms 332
bedrooms/acre 40.7
units/acre 23.5
common space sf  12,312
commercial/retail sf  28,740
parking
total 386
spaces/unit  1
type  on-street & garage