Rebuilding for Those in Need: Opticos Designs for Wildfire Cottage InitiativeIn October of 2017, wildfires in Northern California burned at least 245,000 acres and over 5,000 acres in Sonoma County alone. Since then, Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County has explored ways to expand its programs across the board to serve households displaced by October’s devastating wildfires, including its latest initiative: the Sonoma Wildfire Cottages. Opticos is proud to be part of the team, led by Marianne Cusato, renowned designer of the Katrina Cottage, and the Cypress Community Development Corporation selected by Sonoma Habitat, to design and build a series of model cottages on the Fountaingrove campus of Medtronic in Santa Rosa, California.
Akanda SmartCode: Coding for Sustainability in Developing CountriesSustainable development sits at the heart of President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s vision for the future of the Central African country of Gabon. In 2012, President Ondimba commissioned The Prince’s Foundation, along with Opticos and an international team of experts, to draft an Akanda Masterplan and SmartCode with the intent to establish a sustainable framework for the growth of Akanda, a 3,000-acre site at the northern edge of Gabon’s capital, Libreville, and adjacent to Akanda National Park, a lush, natural habitat of coastal mangroves, mudflats, wetlands, and patches of verdant forest.
Why Form and Scale Matter in the Missing Middle Housing ConversationLately, we’ve noticed people using the term “Missing Middle Housing” solely in an economic sense, to refer to the lack of attainable housing for middle income households. And while Missing Middle Housing is an excellent solution for middle income households, form, scale and context are also critical attributes. So, why do these matter?
Designing a Missing Middle Plan for Small Infill Sites: The Art of Creating Value and a Sense of Place on a Two-to-Five Acre Site, Part 2In our previous post showing how we design Missing Middle Housing for small sites, we reviewed some initial steps, including conceptual studies for a small site master plan in Novato, California. Now, we’re going to look at the steps we took to refine the preferred alternative into something ready for entitlement.
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