Yale Architecture Students Build a House For the Homeless

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By Alison Sinkewicz
Since 1967, part of the Yale School of Architecture’s first year curriculum is to provide New Haven with structures and housing to serve the community.

For this year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project, the students worked with New Haven’s Columbus House, a homelessness services organization, to create an affordable housing solution for the community.  

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The first years' solution is a small, two-bedroom family unit with an efficiency unit suited for one, all under one roof but separated by a walkway. The structure places a premium on light and openness with clean lines and a simple layout. Lines are geometric, angular, and play with the height of the space. 

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Partially prefabricated, the structure’s stairs, cabinets, and window frames were completed in a facility on the Yale campus. The architects-in-training were tasked with cutting down on on-site building time, ensuring that the prefab plans had to be down to the nuts and bolts.

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The structure was unveiled in early October with tenants to be selected by the Columbus House. As pressures mount across North America for sustainable, affordable, and solution-based housing, it’s comforting to know that the Class of 2019 is already hard at work coming up with some beautifully designed options.

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