Casa Feliz, an 89 unit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development project scattered on 12 different lots, is the second phase of a larger neighborhood revitalization effort in the Trumbull Neighborhood of Albuquerque’s International District Zone. The development goals included Transformation, Creation, and Connection. Transformation of “missing teeth” or vacant lots in the neighborhood to Create a desirable and vibrant urban living experience with Connections to the vibrant New Mexico landscape, culture and community. This project recognizes the Trumbull Neighborhood and International District’s aspirations to preserve housing affordability and cultural identity within this diverse and important neighborhood. The proximity to nearby Cesar Chavez Park and Community Center, police station, schools, shopping and high capacity public transit makes this an ideal site for low income housing.
Several key features and design concepts were utilized to meet project goals and to enhance its value and market appeal. The overall site layout draws its influence from traditional “urban village” patterns, where homes face the street with private front porches and are grouped together for sociability and security. Parking is secured and behind the units. Edible, native fruit trees and plants are used throughout the sites and tie into traditional New Mexican agriculture. The collection and use of water for landscaping is celebrated with innovative water collecting features between the buildings. Abstract patterns based on native New Mexican plants and animals individualize each unit with vibrant door graphics while three different exterior light types contribute to unit identity creating a variated light pattern. There are also public plazas throughout the development that include play structures, grape arbors and a sports field. A Community Building, that features colored glass and a custom aluminum panel tower, acts as a gathering space for the residents. The panels are based on the custom unit door graphic patterns, which create a unified, glowing beacon.
This project successfully transformed the neighborhood, creating a new sense of place and connection to the unique context of New Mexico.
￼Square Feet: 81,727
￼Construction Cost: $12,941,281