Render of playground and buildings

Published: 2023

/ Student Work

Level Up: A Post-Industrial Playscape

Level Up responds to Ann Arbor’s immediate need for affordable multi-family housing. The project utilizes non-traditional housing aggregation, pulling ideas from more radical cooperative housing models and modifying them to fit the more family-friendly “cluster” – three single-family apartment units per floor arrayed around a common living space, dubbed the “mudroom,” established a model for shared living space that enables thresholds of privacy that are essential for families.

Level Up’s attitude toward the cluster repeats in a logical progression of scale from units to building to site. Two clusters aggregate to form one building. Four buildings are placed across the site, allowing nested collectivities of shared spaces between clusters and buildings. Community public programs are weaved into the site, dotting the interstitial bridging thoroughfares on each of the four buildings, simultaneously drawing people in while delineating the path of circulation through the site. Similarly, playscapes embedded into the landscape provide moments of play and discovery at every turn. Designed for families and well-being, each aspect of the project, from facade to site design, is unique and fun to create a lively and nurturing environment for residents.


Collin Garnett, Katie Shipman and Pilar O’Hara


Ellie Abrons and Meredith Miller