Morgan Woods

Edgartown, MA




  • 60 units affordable rental housing.
  • 12 acres.
  • Modular construction.
  • Multifamily housing in single family style.


  • $10,000,000


  • 2007

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Design 60 units of affordable rental housing using modular construction on a 12 acre lot in a small New England town on Martha’s Vineyard.


The Town of Edgartown wanted to provide affordable housing for its residents and sponsored a development competition for a 12 acre parcel owned by the Town. Our development team won this competition we believe in part because of our experience with designing multifamily housing using traditional New England single family house architecture combined with the use of typical Cape Cod building types and finishes. With this approach, the multifamily aspect was “disguised” and had the appearance of typical houses in the surrounding area.

The cost of labor in Martha’s Vineyard is very high compared to costs on the mainland. To provide the necessary affordability, our client proposed to use modular construction as opposed to “stick-built” framing. This presented a significant design challenge as modular housing consisted of boxes which did not lend themselves to the type of housing that we had proposed. However, we found that by working closely with the modular manufacturer we were able to design “boxes” that could be assembled in such a way as to achieve our goal of creating multifamily housing densities using a New England style single family architecture.

Using typical New England typologies consisting of “main house/shed/barn”, the design disguised the multi-family density within a single family form. To further achieve our goal of creating a New England community, we designed a site plan using the principles of cluster development and the New England Commons as focal points to create neighborhoods within the larger development.