The Architect’s Newspaper picks up Point Access Blocks

The Architect’s Newspaper invited Larch Lab’s Michael Eliason to submit an op-ed on Point Access Blocks

This piece presented an opportunity to get the concept of Point Access Blocks – single stair buildings – in front of a larger audience. To discuss the benefits and how building access and exiting significantly affects issues like livability and climate adaptation – issues foundational to our work. At Larch Lab, we believe they offer more flexible, livable, compact, and climate resilient housing options than the way multifamily housing is designed and built in the U.S. today. We’ve also been working with several legislators and their staff at both federal and state levels. The status quo of development is fundamentally broken. We look at Point Access Blocks as a means of ‘tunneling through’ towards significantly better housing.

Point Access Blocks aren’t a silver bullet for housing, but they do offer a path towards something I believe to be significantly better over this bland and exceedingly poorly planned status quo. It’s the same way I felt when first introduced to mass timber while working in Freiburg, Germany, in 2003, and it took another 15 years for that technology to really take hold in the U.S. My ambition is that we start to see movement towards better housing and better buildings, and perhaps even a path towards climate-adaptive, family friendly, mass timber, Passivhaus, midrise Point Access Blocks. I also hope it doesn’t take another decade to get there.

-Michael Eliason

Catch Michael’s piece, ‘Why does American multifamily architecture look so banal? Here’s one reason‘ over on The Architect’s Newspaper.

We are looking forward to the robust discussions about housing, livability, and qualities of urbanity that are severely lacking in North American multifamily buildings. If you’re interested in discussing this issue, or other issues around decarbonized and family-friendly housing, please contact us.

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