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Shaping the Boundaries of Podium Construction

Cunningham | Quill Architects has designed numerous multifamily residential buildings. Sustained population growth in our cities and rising single-family home prices have created a demand for high quality residential alternatives in vibrant and sustainable urban communities. In order to maximize the potential of tight urban lots, building construction strategies can be employed to increase the number of stories and overall building square footage – which equates to more units, more common amenity space, and more potential for a mixed-use program.

Podium construction is a common technique that allows an elevated concrete slab to act as the fire separation that divides two distinct construction types – typically wood framing for the residential units above and a more fire-resistive type below – and which can allow for an increase in number of overall stories. Not only does this allow for added density, it also can help minimize costs and increase speed.

Cunningham | Quill Architects is very experienced in the design of podium projects, and with each project we strive to design a building that responds to the scale and character of the site and context. By shaping the geometry of the elevated podium (and to avoid the cookie-cutter, flat multifamily buildings that are all too evident in our cities), we can dictate the building’s massing, scale and exterior detailing.

Our nearly-completed 10th & Dairy project in Charlottesville is one example of podium construction that employs these strategies –in this case a 4-over-1 building, over a partially-subterranean parking garage. The podium slab edge is designed as a direct response to the surrounding dynamic neighborhood context and scale.

Visit our website ( ) to view more of our multifamily residential projects.


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