Artists and architects alike have the ability to dream, to think the unthinkable and give it life. When confronted with a task, architects must employ a vast array of knowledge, talent, and perspective. The same is true of artists. Through our partnership and collaborative efforts with Danny Samuels, Nonya Grenader, and the Rice Building Workshop, Project Row Houses is able to expand its view of the design of the shotgun house and the community that it creates. Through this workshop, students are allowed to explore two key elements of PRH:
The beautiful form representative of a specific style, spirit, and society
The need for social action in our community that gives life to the project
Row House CDC
Row House CDC was established in 2003 as a sister corporation to Project Row Houses (PRH) in direct response to PRH’s vision to “create community” in Houston’s Northern Third Ward. Row House CDC provides affordable community housing for low and moderate income households while preserving the culture, architecture and history of the Third Ward. Thus, the focus is strengthening, sustaining and celebrating the life of the Third Ward community. Row House CDC’s target area is the northern section of Third Ward. The boundaries include highway 288 on the west side, southern boundary is Alabama, eastern boundary is Scott and the northern boundary is McGowen. On September 1, 2013, Row House CDC established its own corporate office that manages 57 low-income rental units.
ModPod is a pre-fabricated residential core that consolidates major trade-dependent systems and finishes into a single deliverable unit that is retro-fitted into an existing structure. While the InHouse OutHouse is assembled off-site, a rough opening is cut into the side of an existing house. Upon delivery, the core can be readily inserted and the entire structure quickly weather-proofed. The electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems are then coupled to on-site services and branched out to the rest of the residence.
In Houston’s Third Ward community, many original shotgun-style houses were being torn down and their dwellers displaced. Rice Building Workshop focused on a segment of the housing market that is often neglected-– an extra-small house for one or two people. The challenge was to design and build a dwelling of modest size (500-square feet) with a small projected budget ($25,000) while implementing innovative design and construction techniques.
Constructed by Rice Building Workshop, The ZeRow House had a two-fold ambition: it was both an entry into the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Washington DC, and also a permanent addition to the Project Row Houses site in the Third Ward. An additional goal was that it would serve as a prototype for small, affordable, sustainable housing that could be built in place or delivered to a site.