Image by Holly Dutton for MHN.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | AD&V® is dedicated to advanced and energy-efficient sustainable architecture & interior design that enhances people’s experience of the world and improves their lives.
ÁLVAREZ-DÍAZ & VILLALÓN WINS THE MULTI-HOUSING NEWS EXCELLENCE AWARD
We are excited to announce that for the second time in three years, our firm was honored with a Multi-Housing News Excellence Award! This year our Renaissance Square project was awarded the Multi-Housing News Excellence Award, this time winning a Bronze Excellence Award in the “Design Affordable” category.
The judges chose the winners based on outstanding elements from this year’s submissions, along with trends they observed. Our Renaissance Square project was recognized for its design as an energy-saving, mix-use, affordable housing development that integrates sustainability and quality functional design.
Image by JC Photo Group.
A FIRST OF ITS KIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT
Completed in 2019, Renaissance Square is the first mixed-income public housing development in Puerto Rico.
Located in San Juan and developed by McCormack Baron Salazar, Renaissance Square has 140 apartments comprised of three- to four-story structures—apartments, walk-ups, townhouses—all grouped around a central, European-style plaza. The architectural style is tropical traditional, yet with a contemporary slant: a full departure from the cookie-cutter, monolithic Modernist towers they replace.
Renaissance Square is a unique, high-quality, affordable housing project that was designed for the community.
Renaissance Square has been consciously designed with sustainable practices in mind in order to create energy efficiency.
These eco-friendly practices take advantage of existing sun and wind path patterns in order to maximize natural light, cross ventilation, and overall energy efficiencies throughout the day. Rooftops have photo-voltaic solar panels to offset traditional electricity costs and minimize the community’s environmental footprint. Exterior windows are double-paned in order to further reduce energy consumption by the buildings’ high-efficiency cooling systems. Ample parkways and green spaces are also strategically placed throughout the neighborhood.
The buildings are also designed to withstand the direct impact of a Category 4 storm and include hurricane-rated, doors, windows, roofs and structures.
Image by JC Photo Group.
Renaissance Square features amenities to increase residents’ wellness and quality of life. The project offers residents ready access to walking trails, community gardens, children’s playgrounds, an indoor gym, activity rooms, public computer rooms, and controlled-access security systems. Along the area’s principal avenues, commercial space has been separated at street level to encourage the entry of local businesses: supermarkets, restaurants, specialty stores, and other local trade, all at a walkable distance from the project.
Renaissance Square creates a new standard for community design in Puerto Rico. The buildings were designed to connect to the larger neighborhood, providing residents easy access to job centers, transportation, schools and recreation.
A HISTORIC PAST
Before Renaissance Square was developed, the original Las Gladiolas projects, built in 1969 and demolished in 2011, were the first buildings of their kind in Puerto Rico.
“Before Renaissance Square, the area represented all that was wrong with high-rise, high-density public housing: isolation, dysfunction, and social-conflict. The idea of the Renaissance came as a response to that conflict.” – AD&V Co-Founder and Architect, Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz.
With Renaissance Square, the new buildings are designed to human scale, while becoming an entirely re-conceived mixed-use, mixed-income community landmark project. Today, the project creates a safe and inviting social atmosphere that provides a sense of place and community in which families from all income levels can live together and thrive.
About the MHN Excellence Awards
Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive hosted a reception to honor the winners of the 2019 MHN Excellence Awards and CPE Distinguished Achievement Awards at 10 Grand Central in New York City. These awards represent the multifamily sector’s most innovative and ingenious achievements. Designers, developers, executives and real estate managers, top property managers, and future stars that are recognized by these awards set a high bar.
In its 13th year, the MHN Excellence Awards honored properties and projects across the United States for 20 categories. Entries were evaluated and winners were chosen by a panel of renowned industry professionals.