Our design draws from two major considerations - the context of the neighborhood and the needs of the Columbus House clients. As our house and its occupants will be new to the neighborhood, we have designed a home that integrates into Button Street through references to adjacent homes and adds vibrancy to the existing landscape. Conversations with our clients emphasized the importance of privacy, informing our decision to allow for complete autonomy within each individual unit, with discrete moments that offer optional interaction. Our house materializes these priorities spatially, technically, and conceptually, providing a contextual and comfortable home where the residents can shape their own space and experience.
Our proposal translates the spatial condition within the neighborhood to the scale of the site, creating a system of striations that organize the program and set up an adaptable framework for future expansion. These striations form a home that connects its residents via a shared spine, while giving each household the means to grow into their homes.
Our design is predicated on two simple, yet fundamental characteristics of a home — ownership and privacy. The two units share a front porch on Button Street and have views of the larger site on the second story. Due to the asymmetries in the program and site conditions, we designed the studio and family homes to wrap around each other. The vertical alignment of the two units on the ﬁrst ﬂoor turns into a horizontal alignment on the second, giving both parties access and views of the landscape. The interlocking CLT forms embody our response to cohabitation.
This project hopes to create a sense of belonging while fostering the autonomy of its residents. Derived from the larger context of the New Haven railroad and river, the idea of the diagonal becomes implemented as an internal organizational principle and underlying grid. The rigidity of the façade is dismantled in layers from the street to backyard, creating dynamic yet private spatial moments for the residents.
Our home design is generated by three key values: identity, privacy, and connection. The house seeks to provide a place of comfort and security for its residents, while fostering bonds with the surrounding environment. A tree-like CLT structure stretches through the house, creating openings that connect to its surroundings. The structure deﬁnes the front and back porches, the living spaces on both unit upper levels, and a tall light-well that naturally illuminates the building. Our tree acts as the primary connection to the outside, and serves as a powerful formal organizer.
Sited on a spacious lot on Button Street, this design investigates the close adjacencies and relationships between two distinct units within a single building envelope. Capped with a double gable roof and fronted with a shared porch — elements that are pulled from the architectural language of the street — the facade presents two home identities.
A sculptural CLT light well guides this stealing of space. Designed to direct light into the living space of the individual unit, it reaches into the family’s living space, allowing the latter to wrap around it and extend above the single unit. The CLT acts as both a ﬁgural and literal core, spatially enwrapping each user within. As the core projects upward, it unfolds to create a rhythmic double gable for quintessential shelter.
Our project spatially and materially collages the housing masses of the two units around a shared outdoor space. This positive void of the shared outdoor space both divides and connects the units, negotiating private and collective spaces. Through this outdoor space, we are offering our clients, who will be sharing this experience of transitioning into housing, space where they can interact as neighbors. The outdoor space is intended to facilitate gathering around meals and to cultivate social relationships embedded in preparing and enjoying food with others. Additionally, it maintains a sense of privacy for our clients through the separation of the units on the ground ﬂoor. The CLT that structurally supports the bedrooms on the second ﬂoor, frames and deﬁnes the outdoor space and tectonically and experientially mediates connections from each units’ individual kitchen to the shared space.
Given the double lot at 43 Button street, we propose to site this house across the streetside edge of the property. The house extends to ﬁll the width of the site, differing from the typical orientation of homes on the block but echoing the continuous, textured streetscape of porches and entries. This asserts the residents’ presence in the Button Street community with a generous front porch that participates in the neighborly culture of a New Haven block. Once beyond the threshold of the porch, each unit opens expansively onto the enclosed backyard garden.
Our scheme proposes to unite the efﬁciency unit and the family unit around a shared central courtyard as a way to scale the large lot down to a more intimate size. The building masses are generated by a CLT matrix and contextualized by a screen envelope that aligns with two neighborhood datums: the porchline and the ﬁrst-story rooﬂine.