Located in Iowa City, the Sabin Townhomes’ 28-unit condominium lines the south and east frontages of the 600-stall Harrison Street Parking Facility. The two structures, built in tandem, remain distinct but complementary; both optimized by an integrated design approach to material usage, construction methods, and schedule. The configuration supplies each condominium unit with direct access to both parking deck and sidewalk, enhancing the residential streetscape while mediating between infrastructural and pedestrian scales. Paired units stack, with interwoven stairs reducing their overall footprint.
Perforated aluminum panels on the parking structure’s exposed west and north elevations filter headlights and views without impeding air circulation. The north elevation–its most urban–translates the condo units’ modularity into a linear field of folded metal that spans vehicular and pedestrian access. Internally lit signage and a glassy stair tower punctuate the composition. A skybridge connects to the neighboring MidwestOne headquarters.
The project highlights architects’ potential as active teammates in the community; navigating complex processes and facilitating multi-stakeholder consensus. Its realization relied on close collaboration with the contractor and the City, among other entities. The contractor, McComas Lacina Construction (MLC), acquired the property through a sequence of agreements with the University of Iowa, MidwestOne Bank, and the Iowa City School District. MLC then funded its development and the City signed a long-term lease for the parking structure portion. A ‘tax increment financing agreement’ (TIF) filled the financing gap while allocating 3 of the town home units to the City’s Housing Fellowship for workforce housing.
Iowa City, Iowa
Walker Consultants, Parking Consultant
2018 AIA Iowa Design Award