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Duplex House for Make It Right / GRAFT

GRAFT was one of the first practices that started working with Make It Right to redevelop the Lower 9th Ward area in New Orleans. Their single family home design has been picked by 3 homeowners so far, with 2 already finished and 1 in construction phase.

GRAFT’s proposal for the new set of duplex homes we featured yesterday, has LEED Platinum certification and in my opinion proposes an interesting strategy to connect with the street level, mandatory to all MIR projects.

Architect’s description and more images after the break:

After the success of the first round of designs for the Lower Ninth Ward a new group of architects was invited to design dwellings. GRAFT donated another design, this time with a larger building for up to two families. The Round 2 house deploys a similar formal strategy of blending as does GRAFT’s Round 1 shotgun house. A strong visual connection to the Round 1 house was maintained in order to bring consistency of character to the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, which will continue to be populated by these types of dwellings. Here, we have additionally drawn inspiration from the camelback shotgun typology. Historically, camelbacks emerged as a way for residents to add a partial second story to a residence, whether simply to gain more space for a single-family home or to add a rental unit at the rear of a structure. In our design, we utilize the camelback strategy to stack a second efficiency unit above a first floor shotgun house.

A critical programmatic goal within the design is to establish a strong connection between the private interior zone of the house and the shared public space of the street. The primary challenge in achieving this goal lies in negotiating the 8’-0” first floor height that is required to make the houses safer from future flooding of the street level. The broad and spacious deck located in the front yard mediates the relationship between public and private by raising the deck 5’-0” above grade. This offers a welcoming gesture to the street while at the same time creating a semi-private space for the inhabitants of the house to enjoy.

Residents may enter the house from the side porch landing, leading them into a large open space, containing living, dining and kitchen functions. The lower unit has a flexible three bedroom layout that can be converted into a two bedroom and office layout if desired. The master suite at the rear of the house contains an en-suite bathroom that shares a common wet wall with the unit’s other bathroom and kitchen making a cost-efficient plumbing core.

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An exterior stair carries the inhabitants of the efficiency unit up to a rooftop terrace entry deck. This secondary deck level may be utilized as a private deck for the upper dwelling. It provides a generous outdoor living space, views of the neighborhood, space for a small vegetable or herb garden, and easy access to the solar panel array for maintenance. The upper unit itself is designed to be a simple one bedroom dwelling with a living room and dining area facing the backyard. Here the efficiency kitchen shares a wall with the bath to form a cost-efficient plumbing core. The kitchen forms an ‘L’ at the perimeter of the living and dining area in order to create an open and inviting space.

GRAFT Design Team: Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, Thomas Willemeit, Alejandra Lillo Project Manager: Robert DeCosmo Team: Marcus Friesl, Brian D. Nelson, Alyse Sedlock, Tim Sola, Atsushi Sugiuchi, Kris Conner, Seyavash Zohoori

Cite:Amber P. "Duplex House for Make It Right / GRAFT" 08 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/28043/duplex-house-for-make-it-right-graft/>