Button Street, New Haven


This year’s site is lo­cated on Button Street in New Haven’s Hill neigh­bor­hood.

Since 1967, first-year stu­dents at the Yale School of Architecture have worked col­lab­o­ra­tively to de­sign and build a struc­ture as part of their grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion. Unique among ar­chi­tec­ture schools, the Jim Vlock Building Project is a vi­tal com­po­nent of Yale’s cur­ricu­lum.

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, the Yale School of Architecture is part­ner­ing with Columbus House, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing to end home­less­ness in the New Haven area. Columbus House of­fers emer­gency shel­ter and a range of hous­ing ser­vices to com­mu­nity mem­bers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing or at risk of home­less­ness, with the ul­ti­mate goal of pro­vid­ing ser­vice-en­riched or in­de­pen­dent hous­ing to those in need.

Students are tasked with cre­at­ing a cost-ef­fi­cient de­sign for a 1,000 square foot two-unit home, while ex­plor­ing meth­ods and as­sem­blies unique to tra­di­tional stick-frame and cross-lam­i­nated tim­ber con­struc­tion. Students work in teams to de­sign and de­velop pro­pos­als for the dwelling, tak­ing each pro­posal through the tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion phase. A fi­nal de­sign is se­lected at the end of the spring se­mes­ter, and stu­dents be­gin con­struc­tion in early May.

For more in­for­ma­tion, see pro­jects from pre­vi­ous years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.