Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Construction Updates at Wardelle Street Townhouses

Viewing south at our Wardelle Street Townhouses project as buildings near completion.

Affordable housing is needed now more than ever due to the impact of COVID-19. Our Wardelle Street Townhouses project for the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority provides 57 affordable units to a market in need. Access to stable, decent, affordable, and accessible housing is essential for one's wellbeing.

Late afternoon light illuminates the west facade of Building 1.

Landscaping is in place along parts of Wardelle Street.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Affordable Housing Update

430 Pico Affordable Housing, Brooks + Scarpa

The impact of COVID-19 has been especially severe on low-income and those of modest economic means, and the lack of affordable housing places additional pressure on house prices and rent rates, further eroding affordability. Attaining a vibrant housing market depends heavily on whether the market can provide a broader and more affordable range of housing options for tomorrow’s households.

As reported on Habitat for Humanity’s website, based on a 2019 report:

“The latest data shows that nearly 38 million households nationwide — 31.5% of all households — are paying more than 30% of their incomes on housing. That’s 20.5 million renters and 17.3 million homeowners. This is just a slight half-percentage point drop from the previous year. Homeowners saw nearly all of the modest improvement, while a near-record share of renters — 47.4% — still face unaffordable rents. In the nation’s hottest housing market areas, those struggling with unaffordability increasingly include higher-income renters.”¹

A majority of housing being built now tends to be for the higher end of the market. The relative lack of smaller, more affordable new homes suggests that the rising costs of labor, land, and materials make it unprofitable to build for the middle market. By restricting the supply of land available for higher-density development, regulatory constraints and not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) opposition may also add to the challenges of supplying more affordable types of housing.¹

The lowest-income families are often forced to make impossible choices between shelter and food, healthcare, education, and other basic needs. This deprivation is severe, predictable, and avoidable. Access to a stable, decent, affordable, and accessible home is essential to virtually every area of a person’s life. Housing is intrinsically connected to better health outcomes, economic mobility, employment prospects, and greater opportunities for people exiting the criminal justice system.²

Here are some questions that these studies point to: 

  • How might local zoning be reformed to increase rental and for-sale supply, especially at lower price points? 
  • How do we create increased down payment assistance to access safe, affordable mortgages
  • Localities, states, and the federal government should lead the efforts to provide lasting, affordable rentals. How might subsidies be retargeted towards the lower-income, first-time homeowners, and lower-income renters?
  • What would broader access to safe credit look like?

¹The State of the Nation’s Housing 2019. Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

²The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes. March 2019. National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sparkflight Studios Firm Profile


Sparkflight Studios is an award-winning, DBE-certified, woman-owned firm, based in Henderson and established in Nevada for more than 16 years. We are focused on integrating sustainable practices into civic, commercial, multifamily residential, and public art projects. We believe the keys to a successful design are effective collaboration between all parties and thoughtful consideration of its impact on the community. Our passion for art and dedication to improving our community shines through in our projects and elevates our clients’ spaces.

Link to full video here.

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Big Draw 2020

The Big Draw Festival 2020

The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity that promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. It’s an annual event that is held between the 1st to 31st of October. The charity leads a diverse program of advocacy, empowerment and engagement, and is the founder and driving force behind The Big Draw Festival – the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. The Big Draw manages collaborative research projects, campaigns and educational conferences on visual literacy, digital technology, and STEAM. 

The types of organizations that hold the event include museums, schools, galleries, community centers, or simply people who are enthusiastic about drawing. Follow the link here to register for an event near you!

See The Big Draw 2020 MINIMAG for full details.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Stay Home - Save Lives, pt. 2

Sparkflight Studios is open for business and committed to our community and team! Through this challenging time, we continue to use our creative resources, attention to detail, and space planning expertise to provide our clients with exceptional project delivery and thoughtful spaces.

As architects, we are always looking for tools to streamline the design process and communicate our ideas. In our current situation, we’ve turned to cyberspace for real-time client feedback, where we can share three-dimensional models and create annotated sketch overlays. Look for future posts on our digital toolkit and unique design capabilities. 

The pandemic has changed the way we conduct business. It has also had a profound impact on our physical environment and public health. At Sparkflight Studios, we can consult and create solutions for evolving business practices in your restaurant or office space. Our space planning expertise is a useful tool to reevaluate floor plans through an epidemiological lens for safety measures like social distancing. As an office, we continue to uphold safety protocols such as consulting remotely and limiting field visits for projects in construction.
  • We respectfully request that visitors to the Sparkflight Studios office wear face coverings.

  • Please address all deliveries to 1489 W Warm Springs Rd, Ste 110 Henderson, NV 89014. The available window for in-person drop-off is M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

With warm wishes for health and wellbeing,

Sparkflight Studios

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice by MASS Design Group

Photo by © Alan Karchmer
Photo by © Alan Karchmer
Photo by © Alan Karchmer
The National Memorial to Peace and Justice is sited on six acres of land in Montgomery, Alabama and is the first national memorial to victims of lynching in the US. The structure suspends eight hundred Corten steel monuments to represent the counties in the United States where racial terror lynchings took place, each engraved with the names of its victims.

Please visit the Equal Justice Initiative to learn more about the project and EJI's efforts, as Bryan Stevenson says, "to confront the truth of our past."