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New Orleans Home : MIR Architecture
Make it Right Home : Louisiana Housing Development – design by Pugh + Scarpa
10 Jun 2009
Make it Right Home
Design: Pugh + Scarpa Architects
Pugh + Scarpa’s Make it Right (MIR) home seeks to redefine the concept of a home into a flexible, multifunctional and adaptable space addressing the needs of today’s modern family, on a limited budget. Offering shelter and comfort, the MIR home breaks the prescriptive mold of the traditional home by creating public and private “zones” in which private space is deemphasized, in favor of large public living areas. The organization of the space is intended to transform the way people live-away from a reclusive, isolating layout towards a family-oriented, interactive space.
The inspiration for the home came from American patchwork quilting traditions, exemplified by the Gee’s Bend abstract geometric style-which is itself influenced by newspaper- and magazine-collages used for insulation on the inside walls of homes in the early rural American South. Recycled wooden pallets are repositioned here as a patchworked shade screen wrapping the building, an innovative alternative to expensive façade materials that lends its own unique character and texture. The visually expressive pallets impart an imperfect, rough-hewn individuality that we find particularly appealing. We are working with local manufacturers to ensure the viability of this cost-effective and sustainable off-the-shelf product, easily obtainable and readily replaceable. The pallet wrapping is joined by decoratively perforated cement board on the east and west façades, providing both shade and privacy while allowing views out and dappled, indirect daylight and breezes to enter. All the exterior elements will combine and interweave, emerging as a distinctive pattern-making aesthetic.
Pugh + Scarpa’s approach to Cradle to Cradle sustainability begins with passive solar design strategies such as locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling and heat loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; and shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. The building responds to the specific conditions of the New Orleans climate in several ways:
– On the south side, a generous exterior porch with deep overhangs and a shade screen provides passive solar protection for the building’s interior.
– Similarly, openings on the east and west sides are protected with deeper overhangs, vertical screens, and porches.
– The north side is allowed to be flat and exposed, which affords natural daylighting with a minimum of solar heat gain.
– The roof is sloped to induce airflow.
– The non-structural exterior skin-made from recycled wood pallets and cement board-offers shading and a thermal break to the building structure, providing relief from direct solar heat gain.
– High ceilings and abundant cross ventilation allow heat to escape the building’s interior. Cooling airflow inside the home is enhanced by ceiling fans, a direct drive exhaust fan, and operable windows, which create abundant cross ventilation.
– All materials selected are commercially available, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.
– All appliances are “Energy Star” rated.
– The interior organization separates living and sleeping areas into two zones, permitting them to be independently conditioned. This compartmentalized strategy means that more efficient systems can be used, increasing sustainability and cost savings to the homeowner. The home’s high ceilings promote an airy, spacious ambiance, and will be less reliant on artificial lighting.
We are eager to work with the community and stakeholders as we continue to develop and refine our design concept for the MIR home. We welcome any input and feedback that will help us attain the goal of affordable, sustainable, and-above all-livable homes that celebrate and nurture the families of New Orleans.
Make it Right house images / information from pugh + scarpa
Location:New Orleans, LA ‘