Uphill Housing

The first straw-insulated multifamily housing project in Maine

This project—30-units of affordable housing in Portland, Maine—is an exercise in navigating constraints. While all projects are beholden to code, zoning, and their context, this project is also subject to Historic Review and stringent dimensional standards related to affordable subsidies.  

Within that context, we’re also asking bigger questions like:
  • Which design decisions increase cost-savings and livability?
  • Can an affordable building sequester more CO2 than it emits?
  • Can renters build equity? 1

1. While working on this project, we learned of Renting Partnerships. An organization in Cincinnati, Ohio who’s developed a model in which long-term renters build wealth by taking part in the upkeep of their community.  

Ground Floor Plan

Typical Upper Floor Plan

Alternating bands of pine clapboard break down the building’s scale. The lighter tone at the corners help dematerialize the volume

The windows stack vertically and (the majority) are rectangular, in reference to the neighboring buildings


LB Atlantic, LLC




In Design


Portland, Maine


Interior Design


Acorn Engineering, Inc
Civil Engineering

Base Design Group, Inc
Structural Engineering

BLW Engineers, Inc
MEP-FP Engineering

Collaborator & Straw Panel Provider

Pieszak Lighting Design,
Lighting Design

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