'Float House' for the Make It Right Foundation by Morphosis
Morphosis Architects designed this eclectic single family house for New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, an area which was completely distroyed by Hurricane Katrina and which is now site for the new designs of the Make It Right Foundation. The L.A. based practice created a house which broaches the issue of the catastrophy the city was confronted with – it would float if New Orleans floods.
'Float House' by Morphosis
Here is what the Architects explain:
The FLOAT House optimizes the efficiency of mass-production, while respecting New Orleans’s unique culture and context. The Ninth Ward’s colorful vernacular houses, which local residents have traditionally modified and personalized over time, reflect the community’s vibrant culture. The FLOAT House grows out of the indigenous typology of the shotgun house, predominant throughout New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward. Like a typical shotgun house, the FLOAT House sits atop a raised base. This innovative base, or “chassis,” integrates all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainable systems, and securely floats in case of flooding. Inspired by GM’s skateboard chassis, which is engineered to support several car body types, the FLOAT House’s chassis is designed to support a variety of customizable house configurations.
Developed to meet the needs of families in New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, the FLOAT House is a prototype for prefabricated, affordable housing that can be adapted to the needs of flood zones worldwide. The FLOAT House is assembled on-site from pre-fabricated components:
The modular chassis is pre-fabricated as a single unit of expanded polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber reinforced concrete, with all required wall anchors, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems pre-installed. The chassis module is shipped whole from factory to site, via standard flat bed trailer.
The piers that anchor the house to the ground and the concrete pads on which the chassis sits are constructed on-site, using local labor and conventional construction techniques.
The panelized walls, windows, interior finishes and kit-of parts roof are prefabricated, to be assembled on-site along with the installation of fixtures and appliances. This efficient approach integrates modern mass-production with traditional site construction to lower costs, guarantee quality, and reduce waste.
to the Morphosis website
to the Make It Right website
The new 'Camelback House' for the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans
In April this year six houses have been finished as part of the Make It Right Program in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, a district which has been almost completely distroyed by hurricane Katrina in autumn 2005. Another nine houses are still under construction. The architects of Graft designed two of the fifteen houses – prefabricated units which reveived the LEED platinum certification. Sustainable construction is one of the most important parameters of the initiative.
As most of the projects Graft´s designs also merge traditional and modern architecture without losing the typical handwriting of the Berlin and L.A. based architects. The fast and dynamic shapes of the ‚Shotgun House’ for example builds a contrast to the rather tradtional wooden façade and the typical southern front porch.
The second design, which Graft presented recently, is the ‚Camelback House’ a duplex house which is rather expressive than the first round houses.
Here an explanation of the architects:
After the success of the first round of designs for the Lower Ninth Ward a new group of architects was invited to design dwellings. GRAFT donated another design, this time with a larger building for up to two families. The Round 2 house deploys a similar formal strategy of blending as does GRAFT’s Round 1 shotgun house. A strong visual connection to the Round 1 house was maintained in order to bring consistency of character to the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, which will continue to be populated by these types of dwellings. Here, we have additionally drawn inspiration from the camelback shotgun typology. Historically, camelbacks emerged as a way for residents to add a partial second story to a residence, whether simply to gain more space for a single-family home or to add a rental unit at the rear of a structure. In our design, we utilize the camelback strategy to stack a second efficiency unit above a first floor shotgun house.
The first design by Graft: 'Shotgun House', Photo: Virginia Miller
Residents may enter the house from the side porch landing, leading them into a large open space, containing living, dining and kitchen functions. The lower unit has a flexible three bedroom layout that can be converted into a two bedroom and office layout if desired. The master suite at the rear of the house contains an en-suite bathroom that shares a common wet wall with the unit’s other bathroom and kitchen making a cost-efficient plumbing core.
An exterior stair carries the inhabitants of the efficiency unit up to a rooftop terrace entry deck. This secondary deck level may be utilized as a private deck for the upper dwelling. It provides a generous outdoor living space, views of the neighborhood, space for a small vegetable or herb garden, and easy access to the solar panel array for maintenance. The upper unit itself is designed to be a simple one bedroom dwelling with a living room and dining area facing the backyard. Here the efficiency kitchen shares a wall with the bath to form a cost-efficient plumbing core. The kitchen forms an ‘L’ at the perimeter of the living and dining area in order to create an open and inviting space.
The prefabricated houses received the LEED Platinum certification, Photo: Virginia Miller
Graft Design Team: Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, Thomas Willemeit, Alejandra Lillo
Project Manager: Robert DeCosmo
Team: Marcus Friesl, Brian D. Nelson, Alyse Sedlock, Tim Sola, Atsushi Sugiuchi, Kris Conner, Seyavash Zohoori
read about the Pink Project by Graft
to the Graft website