Yale First-Years’ Latest New Haven House Complete

Courtesy of Vlock Building Project 2013 Instagram

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…

Courtesy of Vlock Building Project 2013 Instagram

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. 

Cite: Allen, Katherine. "Yale First-Years’ Latest New Haven House Complete" 01 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 03 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=432181>

8 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down -7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +11

    They’ve provided a solid, practical and attainable home. One that is for the majority of the people. Architecture is for human beings first. For most human beings this is more than ideal. They will have shelter, comfort and security. I agree this isn’t sexy enough to be on the cover of Arch Record. But it is worthy and a valuable exercise if for nothing but to actually swing a hammer.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Re. the second to the last photo… was the really the best solution for the electrical entry???

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +11

    Just wanted to offer some insight: The students work with a local neighborhood non-profit organization that prefers that the buildings don’t look like they are too out of context with the low-income neighborhoods they are built in, so the designs are not a la Zaha Hadid. The experience students get from actually building the building is as valuable as the design process (probably more so).

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    I say bravo. This is a great direction for any school and the acknowledgement of reality. Just because it isn’t shiny or with sporadic windows backed by some conceptual theory, does not make it an excellent learning experience and provide shelter for a person. This is not a culmination of any of their careers, but an invaluable lesson.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Its invaluable experience for students. This concept should be implemented in all architectural schools.

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