ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS across the country encounter a similar problem: How do you introduce higher-density housing to an established single-family neighborhood? Better yet, how do you impart a shared identity on those new homes while avoiding a cookie-cutter sameness?

Weber + Thompson Architects resolved the issue by organizing the homes of Crofton Springs around shared green spaces based on a stream that runs through the site. To foster a pedestrian-friendly community and to encourage interaction, the architects included porches, stoops, and decks. They set aside remote parking courts and back alleys to diminish the impact of cars and to encourage walking.

The homes are a combination of shingle-style cottages, row houses, townhouses, carriage homes, garden flats, and suburban lofts, imbued with a regional vernacular flavor. Multiple housing styles, an 80-color paint palette, and architectural details such as overhangs and dormers ensure diversity. As a result, the 121 homes do not feel crowded on the 6.3-acre site.

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Category: Community with mixed-housing types; Entrant/Architect/Land planner: Weber + Thompson Architects, Seattle; Developer: The Dwelling Co., Mercer Island, Wash.; Builder: Crofton Springs, Mercer Island; Landscape architect: Barker Landscape Architecture, Seattle

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.