Most architects have to wait years to see their first project realized – but if you’re an architecture student at Yale University, you may just have to get on campus.
The Jim Vlock Project, established in 1967, gives first year graduate architecture students the opportunity to design and build a single family home in New Haven, Connecticut. The most recent iteration of the program, which investigated prefab design and construction, will be dedicated today at Yale University.
More info on this year’s Jim Vlock house, after the break…
The program has experimented with a wide range of construction methods, styles and materials, in a large set of locations. Early projects included campsite structures in Connecticut and community centers in Appalachia, but recently they have focused solely on New Haven, where Yale is located.
This year, students assembled elements of the prototype, including floorboards, rafters, stairs, and exterior walls in a warehouse on Yale’s West Campus, seven miles from where the project was to be installed. The pieces were then shipped to the construction site, where the building was assembled and completed.
The project, which is nearing its fiftieth year, has also collaborated with other organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Neighbourhood Housing, and (most recently) Common Ground. These partnerships give students the opportunity to experience working with a client and to understand the challenges of affordable housing and urban infill. The program aims to give students not just an intimate understanding of tectonics and the mechanics of structure, but also a lesson in how architecture can give back to the community.