Lathrup Close is a Multi-Unit Residential infill site in Historic Lathrup Village, a pre-war suburban neighborhood that pioneered Architectural and Urban Design requirements to promote high quality architecture and community design. Lathrup Village features a unique street system that has long been considered a model for a planned residential community. We began the design process thinking that the design solution should include completing the street network from the original 1923 Master Plan, however, community feedback during our initial site walk indicated a high priority on deterring cut-thru traffic from the busy 11-Mile Road Service Drive.
In the same era that Louise Lathrup Kelley embarked on developing Lathrup Townsite, planners such as Raymond Unwin conceptualized what is commonly referred to as an “English Close”. The Close was used to accommodates a mix of residential building types arranged around a compact vehicular and pedestrian space that promotes security, privacy, and efficient land use. We found that the Close provided a way to address the community concerns and greatly improved the marketability of the homes we proposed. A Close functions like a cul-de-sac to promote privacy by limiting traffic flow without the brutality of a large paved area. A Close is generally “U” shaped with a central green space surrounded by a narrow vehicular drive. The arrangement of residences around a shared park space humanizes the access driveway and the surrounding residences create a strong sense of spatial enclosure desirable in a neighborhood setting.
The design solution for Lathrup Close places the Rowhouses flanking each side of the entrance drive off of 11-Mile Road to provide an “eyes on the street” presence and improve community safety. The Garden Flats are arranged around a shared park space, which provides added landscaping and a place to casually meet neighbors. The Garden Flats also have a place of private retreat provided by the rear yard patios at the perimeter of the site. The architectural designs are inspired by the Colonial Revival, English Tudor and other European Romantic styles found throughout Lathrup Village.
PROJECT TYPE: Residential – Garden Flats and Rowhouses
UNIT SIZES: 1080 to 1270 Square Feet + 2-Car Garage
ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES PROVIDED: Site Concept, Home Design and Construction Documents
PROJECT STATUS: Groundbreaking Summer 2016