Jim Vlock Building Project / Team B

Yale School of Architecture, Spring 2014

Critics: Adam Hopfner, Avi Forman, Alan Organschi, Andrew Benner, Peter de Bretteville, Amy Lelyveld, Joeb Moore

Site: New Haven, CT

Designed in partnership with Samantha Jaff, Pearl Ho, Dorian Booth, Dante Furioso, Nicolas Kemper, Jenny Kim, Xinyi Wang

The Team B proposal improves on a time tested model, the row house. By delivering street access and private yards to each unit, the row house strikes an ingenious balance between the demand for economical and efficient dwelling and the need for dignity and privacy. 

Instead of negotiating the owner/tenant relationship in a linear fashion along the length of the site, this prototype utilizes a diagonal strategy in order to maximize the width of each living unit while maintaining a front and back yard for both. Providing each unit with street frontage as well as a rear garden allows both tenant and owner to establish a presence on the street as well as develop a sense of ownership through the more private garden spaces behind each unit. 

The tenant unit is pushed back slightly from the owner unit, giving the owner unit the primary width at the front and the tenant unit primary width at the back. This establishes a sense of hierarchy between the units, while maintaining a certain equality of space differentiation, views to the street, and internal amenities. A lofted sleeping space provides the owner unit with a more generous living space, while the tenant unit remains as compact and efficient as possible. Yet, both units provide occupants with a dynamic relationship between street and garden, public and private, owner, and tenant.