Monday, April 14, 2008

21st century in the 11th ward

, originally uploaded by .
This is a whole lotta house on a seriously small lot. The Tulane URBANbuild Protoype 03 house is approaching completion at Seventh and Dryades in Central City. Students developed multiple protoypes in a semester-long design studio prior to the build this spring. The design is sensitive to our vernacular architecture in spirit, but not in style. The house is raised on piers to protect it from minor street flooding and benefit from a cooling breeze underfoot. The mandatory front porch is ample and inviting. An upper balcony provides a more discreet view of the street theater that often unfolds in the neighborhood.
The URBANbuild house may not have the brackets or columns and cast iron details that typify our 19th century housing, but it is not a replica of a facsimile.* It has integrity. As the students labor to complete the house in the next few weeks, stop by and check it out. This is a fine example of Regional Modernism.

* Much of the new housing being constructed in the city are pale and cheap imitations of our historic architecture.

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