Silver Vistas is a 60 unit rental townhouse development located in Silver City, NM. The design strives to create a community that connects its residents to the unique place and history of the Gila region through the design metaphor of a frontier mining town. Silver Vistas’ simple and economical construction systems are combined with cost effective green design features and sensible site planning to create a remarkable community of homes.
Appropriate to the neighborhood, Silver Vistas is conceived as townhouse development with a smaller scale, more variation in building forms and is better adapted to the sloping terrain than a standard apartment building. By alternating plans and exterior materials, Silver Vistas avoids the monotony of typical town house developments while reinforcing the frontier mining town aesthetic. Floor plans are simple & economical that place an emphasis on an open plan kitchen / living / dinning area. The 2 bedroom plan is the basic module for all of the units. By adding a second story, this base plan can be adapted to 3 and 4 bedroom units. The second story of the three bedroom unit is pushed to the north side of the home, while the 4 bedroom unit is pushed to the south. Simple gable roofs cover the units, but alternate direction, contributing to variation of the community design.
The landscape plan is designed to preserve the local ecology and re-vegetate the existing plant community. Roof water will be directed to rain gardens, vegetated swales and other permaculture features; and parking lot drainage will be directed to dispersed infiltration basins. Overflow from these infiltration basins will be directed to larger storm water detention basins, downhill from the development. These economical catchment strategies will passively irrigate landscape and promote ground water infiltration; thereby preserving the local ecosystem. The local plant community of native grasses, beargrass, yucca, alligator juniper and piñon pine will be preserved and re-vegetated, as necessary. Accent deciduous trees will be added in certain locations to provide shade, color and to break-up building massing. These are all trees native to the Gila region and include New Mexico locusts, desert willows and Arizona Alders. The result is a site / landscape design that will reduce irrigation demand and is perfectly suited to its site.