Mill River Co-op

Project Description

Program: Live and light manufacturing

Over the last 50 years the American home has become a place of consumption and self-expression. The Mill River Co-op reincorporates a place of production back into the home. These spaces generate revenue and extend the function of the dwelling space. Mill River Co-op breaks down the work-live separation that is a result of current zoning practices and reactivates the urban environment. Rather than becoming inactive during periods of disuse the co-op transforms multiple times throughout the course of the day alternating between domestic and productive functions.

Mill River Co-op mediates between two scales: the domestic scale and the manufacturing scale. Manufacturing takes place in the large translucent shed structures which run parallel to the river. Dwelling takes place in the smaller wooden bars which run perpendicular to the river. These two programs are woven together.  At the intersection, the two create a hybrid space. Supplies are delivered on the south end of each shed and move north along the river.  Residents arrive from the mews which runs down the center of the complex and receive either a view to the street or a view to the waterfront. Mill River Co-op provides multiple housing options. One can build either a single-family or a loft model according to lifestyle needs. 

Mill River Co-op is constructed out of glulam portal frames and CLT prefabricated panels. Engineered timber is a sustainable and beautiful construction method. Timber is not only a renewable construction material – it also acts as a carbon sequestration tool.

Finally, Mill River Co-op responds to its site. It is located on the edge of a flood zone. The site gradually slopes down towards the river. Floodable program spaces like parking and delivery are located at the level of the river. The domestic space and the production floors begin at the street level and are elevated 15 feet above the flood zone at the river level.