Designed and built by students of the Yale School of Architecture, this small home is intended to be an affordable housing solution for low-income families. The house was completed as part of the school’s Jim Vlock Building Project (JVBP) programme.
The JVBP programme was established in 1967 and involves the construction of affordable homes in neighborhoods of New Haven that are considered to be economically distressed. This years project involved the design and construction of a 1,000 square foot (93 square meter) home, set on a site in the city’s West River district.
The house doesn’t only have to be affordable, but it also needs to be capable of being placed in a variety of areas throughout the country. In a sense, it’s design needed to be independent of the context. To create the home, 52 students were divided up into 8 teams, each of which created their own proposal. Faculty members and guest jurors then determined the winning proposal.
Construction took place over the summer months. The finished home is relatively simple in shape, with a few small cantilevering sections. The exterior is clad in red cedar and the pitched roof, which is inspired by the traditional New England gable roof, is made of galvanised aluminium.
The first floor revolves around a central box that contains the home’s mechanical areas and free’s up the rest of the floor. The wooden box contains both the kitchen and a downstairs toilet, while also incorporating the staircase and a closet.
The second floor features three bedrooms, a bathroom that’s accessible from both the master bedroom and a hallway, and a shared communal area that’s lined with storage units. Windows have been sized and positioned in accordance with the privacy levels required; they’re much larger in the communal area, whereas they’re quite small in the bedrooms.