Unveiled: Affordable House Designed And Built By Yale Students
October 3, 2012
Yale Building Project 2012. Image by Ivan Farr.
This year’s house for the Yale Vlock Building Project was unveiled at a reception on Monday in the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. The house, designed and built by first-year students at the Yale School of Architecture, is the latest in the forty-five year history of the program, which seeks to provide affordable housing for Yale’s surrounding communities. Read more.
The clients for this year’s house, Neighborhood Housing Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitating and building housing stock in economically depressed New Haven neighborhoods, specified a two-family house back in March of this year, with one unit for the house’s owner and the other for a tenant. The first-year class of the Yale School of Architecture was divided into eight teams, each presenting a completed design less than two months after the beginning of the project; after the presentations, faculty at the school met with the clients to pick a single scheme for construction.
The house as seen from the street. Image by John Jacobson.
The winning scheme addresses the site, a corner lot, with a grand diagonal entryway dividing the owner and tenant units, which otherwise read as a single volume. With dramatic cantilevers and large windows that punch through vertical siding, the house is a study in the sophisticated use of materials and design for efficiency. Despite its size–this is the largest ever built in the history of the Vlock Building Project–the house was built to be affordable for neighborhood residents, with budgetary concerns forming an integral part of the design.
To lessen the cost of the house, students labored throughout the summer to raise the structure, while many generous sponsors, including Kohler and Weyerhauser, among others, donated thousands of dollars worth of appliances and materials. For most of the students, it was their first time on a construction site, an experience made all the more meaningful as they got to make their own design a reality. Project manager Katie Stranix, who spent the entire summer building the house, says that the process was extremely rewarding. “It was really exciting to see the drawings take shape, and to finally see the house occupied. It’s amazing to take something from an idea to a finished building in such a short amount of time.”
At Monday’s ceremony, the students of the YSOA Class of 2014 looked on with pride as Dean Stern thanked all of the participants in the project. As the school community and neighborhood residents gathered to tour the house, students celebrated the end of seven months of tremendous learning and hard work.
See more photos of the construction of the house, as well as the design process, here.
The front entry. Image by John Jacobson.
Students lifting a wall into place during construction. Image by Ivan Farr.
Gathering for the reception. Image by Ivan Farr.
Taking a tour of the house. Image by Ivan Farr.
Students inspect the millwork. Image by Ivan Farr.
Dean Robert A.M. Stern gives a speech. Image by Ivan Farr.
Future owner Michael Boyd thanks the students. Image by Ivan Farr.
The house at night. Image by Katie Stranix.