Infilling lots and changing lives
A true example of community investment utilizing infill on previously vacant or disinvested lots, the new construction of twenty single-family homes and five two-flat buildings has transformed portions of the East Bluff neighborhood of Peoria, IL, providing home and community for lower-income earning individuals and families and transformational change to the neighborhood.
After 25 formerly vacant lots were identified and secured, WJW undertook a collaborative process with the development team and community to provide contextualized design options, ultimately settling on an aesthetic that tied together historic references within the community, married with modern design solutions and sustainable elements that led the way to the project achieving National Green Building Standard Bronze Certification.
The project includes 4 distinct building types that draw directly from the variety of housing typologies that encompass the historic community. The one-story buildings offer residents a two-or-three-bedroom option with dormers that create light-filled, vaulted living spaces from shake siding gables and Craftsman-style dormers. To create a diversity of styles and offer a range of living options, there are duplex and single-family two-story homes. The duplex units include one unit per story, with two bedrooms each. The single-family home includes three bedrooms and two full baths for larger families. The common architectural feature across the four housing types is the front porch.
Front porches or stoops define almost every front façade along the streets of East Bluff and including them on each of the residences allows for a connection to neighbors and creates a welcoming spirit. The porches aim to be more inclusive, as they are at grade level for accessibility to each ground floor unit.
The project also spanned the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, weathering multiple delays in materials and labor, along with increased expenses in materials. The WJW team worked with the project team to still deliver quality design results while maintaining sensitivity to the overall budget constraints.
WJW is pleased to announce that East Bluff Homes has been named a finalist in the Affordable Housing Finance 2023 Readers' Choice Awards!