Zui Lig Ng, University of Houston

From the Jury:

We all love a dogtrot house and find the endless riffs on its simple parti exciting. This one, made with discarded shipping containers from Houston’s ship channel, weaves together history and contemporary conditions, bringing new life to both container and typology.

This O House proposes an affordable and sustainable design alternative to current gated townhouse developments in Houston’s Third Ward. It also seeks to address the increasing student housing and parking needs of two major universities in the neighborhood. First of all, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house uses retired shipping containers, build-it-yourself options, low energy bills, and partial rental opportunities to lower the cost and promote a more sustainable model of homeownership. The partial-rent-out option helps provide much-needed accommodations to university students and faculty. This hybridized living arrangement revitalizes the neighborhood. Secondly, the 1,000-sf house also sustains the identity of the neighborhood, as it incorporates a porch, a typology that has encouraged interaction within the community for generations. While this semiprivate outdoor space promotes community involvement, an internal courtyard provides a private social space for residents. Finally, This O House strives to be environmentally friendly. Passive ventilation, recycled building materials, and energy-efficient building systems keep electricity consumption at a minimum.

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