echo ridge duplexes, topeka, kan.
el dorado
kansas city, mo.

The jury praised the innovative nature of this four-unit affordable housing project, part of a larger development in Topeka, Kan. “It’s a really creative architectural approach,” said a judge. Principal-in-charge Josh Shelton, AIA, of el dorado credits the Topeka Housing Authority for its willingness to take risks. “They gave us the freedom to rethink what a duplex is,” he says.

El dorado staggered the units so the walls could gain exposure to cross-ventilation and natural light. A central courtyard gives the residents a semi-private place to gather, and upper-level balconies provide another outdoor option. The variegated coloring of the project’s fiber-cement board rainscreen siding allows its pieces to be easily switched out in the future. “We were thinking ahead about maintenance strategies,” Shelton says. He also notes builder Kelley Construction’s attention to detail. “They put in such a meticulous level of craftsmanship.”

View all 2012 RADA winners.

project credits

principal in charge: Josh Shelton, AIA, el dorado; project manager: Steve Salzer, AIA, el dorado; general contractor: Kelley Construction, Topeka; developer: Topeka Housing Authority, Topeka; structural engineer: Bob D. Campbell & Co., Kansas City; mechanical engineer: Latimer, Sommers & Associates, Topeka; code consultant: Code Consulting Services, Smithville, Mo.; landscape architect: Patti Banks Associates, Kansas City; civil engineer: Cook, Flatt & Strobel, Kansas City; project size: 1,100 square feet per unit; units in project: 4; site size: 0.5 acre; construction cost: $115 per square foot; rental price: income-dependent; photography: Mike Sinclair Photographer.

product details

bathroom fittings/fixtures and kitchen fittings/fixtures: American Standard,; cooktop/dishwasher/range/refrigerator: GE Appliances,; doors: Masonite,; exterior siding: CertainTeed,; garbage disposal: InSinkErator,; hvac equipment: FHP,; insulation: Dow Building Solutions,, BioBased Insulation,; modular green roof system: LiveRoof,; paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams,; roofing: Carlisle Syntec Systems,; windows: Simonton Windows,