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Panhandle Hybrids

Objective: To design a community of over thirty residences and one civic space in a small town twenty miles north of Florida's 30A corridor.

Response: With the intention of providing affordable accommodations for the resort coast's work force, this project explores an architecture of affordability.  In an effort to create both economic feasibility and cultural meaning, two traditional southern housing types were hybridized to create new types that improve upon the original cost effectiveness and quality of space.  The two resulting types are the Courtyard Shotgun House and the Single House Flat.

The overarching site strategy begins with a pre-existing masterplan that saw the greater context divided into three segments.  A secondary street grid was introduced to create a more urban and pedestrian-friendly block size.  Three mid-block laneway loops were added for parking and 'back-of-house' activity.  Each of the  original segments also received dedicated civic space for small scale public programming.  The parcel located at the terminus of the main entry road has been reserved for a larger scale civic structure.  This project focuses on the western block in the middle of the northern most segment.

Each unit is approximately 900 sq ft and houses two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen area, living room, and dining area.  Four outdoor areas are provided -- three courtyards and one front porch.  The courtyards, given their size and location, each have a different character.  The original circulation diagram of the traditional shotgun house is retained.

The ground level flat is a one bedroom, fully accessible unit.  The garage serves the two bedroom single house that sits on top.  The center-stair plan of the single house creates a desirable collection of spaces whose program could conceivably be quite fluid.  The front rain garden in which the aforementioned drainage column lands, directs the rain water runoff into a central management system,

THE LAUNDROMAT CAFE

 

The on-site public programming offered in this development is yet another hybrid; a laundromat/cafe.  Tthe sharing of a basic utility like laundry fosters a sentiment that is consistent with that of the rest of the development.  By combining it with a cafe, or the 'third space', and placing it in the most prominent and public location of the masterplan, it becomes a social activity.  The building itself is a carefully located 'lift' in the civic square.  One corner in raised 30' in the air, supported by five main structural members (all of which are straight) and clad in the same paving material that covers the rest of the public surface.  The plan features an implicit divide by way of the second entrance's axis, where one half houses the cafe and the other is occupied by the laundry facilities.

Completed: April 2017

Course: Advanced Studio II at the Yale School of Architecture

Critics: Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and George Knight