Expanding a Community Legacy
The Farmstead / Joe’s Place
The Farmstead is a multifamily housing community that offers 144 garden-style apartments thoughtfully spread across 8 acres in the Landover-Sharmel neighborhood of Vancouver, Washington. It offers an elevated farmhouse design for individuals and families seeking calm and connected housing that has a true sense of place.
Before we began any design work on The Farmstead, we started with a process called “storyform,” led by our creative partners at Riff. Storyform is a discovery and story building process that develops a common narrative and language for team members and the community to understand a project, its purpose and value, and goals.
Through this Storyform process, we photographed Joe's Place Farms and interviewed Joe himself about the history and seasons of his farm. We learned that he planted his first crop of strawberries at age 4 during World War II. He remembers when Vancouver was mostly farmland, and many people drove horse-drawn wagons with iron wheels.
Through curiosity and research, we were able to tell a clear story of where Joe's Place Farms has been and where The Farmstead housing development is going. A clear story anchors the integrity of a project so that the vision stays intact from design to construction – and we’re excited to share that story with you.
Once the site for Joe’s Place Farms, a community staple for families, the Farmstead draws inspiration from its roots to create a place where the experience centers on the outdoors. The site layout preserves pedestrian corridors, viewpoints, and a grove of trees that will continue to serve as habitat for wildlife. Community amenities will include a communal clubhouse with a fitness center, an outdoor dog park and various pet-friendly amenities including a dog washing station. Other amenities included ample covered outside seating and a quasi-community garden. This garden will be maintained by management, but the harvest is available for all to enjoy.