Woodland Park Apartments,
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Plans to redevelop an old hotel converted into apartments in downtown Green Bay necessitated the construction of a replacement building to house the residents, a mix of low income, elderly and handicapped individuals. Abacus Architects designed Woodland Park Apartments, an 80-unit structure, as part of a WHEDA-funded, two-building complex.
Although a busy thoroughfare borders the new site on the outskirts of Green Bay, Abacus was able to set the building back into the picturesque, wooded area at the rear of the lot. The sloping landscape required leveling the ground and building retaining walls, all within a very limited footprint. Four stories face the front, with a fifth in back.
The immediate neighborhood of Woodland Park includes both commercial and residential properties; Abacus consequently designed the apartment in a contemporary, minimalist style with cantilevered balconies to complement nearby structures. The adjacent building, a 70-unit apartment, features a more traditional design to blend with its residential neighbors.
The building’s signature feature is the large two-story lobby and sitting room. The atrium-like structure functions as an interior courtyard that joins the two building masses together. Cultured stone from the exterior continues in the interior lobby, bringing the outside in. An open stair with a unique railing design adds a stately touch to the lobby.
Within the restrictive budgets and design parameters of subsidized housing, Abacus sought to be creative in providing a comfortable level of amenities. These include a large great room, exterior patio, underground parking, exercise room, resident laundry, and computer room/library. Outside, residents can enjoy a large pond with a fountain, circled by a walking path.
Woodland Park Apartments received Green Built Homes Certification, and construction used environmentally friendly products, finishes and systems. This project also received the City of Green Bay Mayoral Small Building Housing Development Beautification Award.
“It was low-income housing, but we still wanted it to be a comfortable environment. We just had to be a little more creative on how to achieve that with a lower budget.” –Paul Mentink, Project Manager