The Urban Housing Atlas is a compendium of more than twenty multifamily projects that Utile, a Boston-based architecture and urban planning firm, designed from 2003 through 2007. The book was originally developed as an in-house manual to record housing solutions for both implemented projects and for proposals not carried forward that ran the risk of becoming lost design efforts. As a reference book, the compendium was to communicate collective knowledge gained to an ever-growing design team and would avoid instances of wheel-reinvention, a problem in a busy office with a horizontal management structure.
Except in rare instances, all of the projects comprise between eight and forty units, are four stories or fewer, and were planned for urban infill sites in the Boston metropolitan area. Although the collection of proposals represents a wide range of building types, the projects were developed under uniform regulatory and economic constraints and with a consistent design methodology.