Intentional (Sub)Urban Community

7 thoughts on “Intentional (Sub)Urban Community”

  1. Excellent take on recycling old buildings. I saw a similar motel, for sale, in Crescent City, California a few years ago. Empty and boarded up in a residential neighborhood, not far from the city center. My immediate thought was exactly what you describe!

  2. Good one! Here on the east coast there are a lot of “Route 66” type old highways that not only have ugly old motels, but even some attractive ones (Art Deco, attractively bonded brick, etc) there are even a lot of stand alone unit complexes. I often wonder what can be done with them. About 10 miles from me, on route 1 (famous for its honky-tonk) one of these stand alone cabin brick complexes has been turned into little mini shops. — the place has good road frontage, but I can’t imagine much shelf space is possible….

  3. I love it. Your idea brings to mind Stewart Brand’s concept of low road buildings (from his How Buildings Learn book). Basic, cheap, simple place that can be messed about with and casually adapted because there is nothing fancy to damage.

  4. Great example of retrofitting and reuse! Very much like the way they turned parking areas into human areas. I agree it seems like budget motels might make excellent starting points for intentional communities. The only thing I would add is that when remodeling add as much soundproofing between units as possible. Good fences may make good neighbors, but good soundproofing makes even better ones.

    1. Good point. I’m a big believer in massive amounts of insulation. Taking the interior partition walls down to the studs and loading them with insulation and new drywall with vibration isolators is relatively cheap and easy – especially if the space is being renovated anyway.

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