By: Allison Walvoord, AIA, and Krishnan Mistry, Assoc. AIA
From the Jury:
The project is strong, as it proposes an alternative way of inhabiting the city. The representation reinforces this idea by means of a scalar trick that gives the characters inhabiting the compound an otherworldly quality. The idea that these two, designed world and inhabitants, mutually affect each other sets this proposition apart. The appealing scheme and representation are complemented by a care for detail and material.
In Austin, the ideal of the free-standing home is elevated to an excessive level under the current code. In response to this, the proposal was straightforward in presenting clear and identifiable objects, or “houses,” in the landscape that appear to be freestanding.
Upon entering, however, one notices that the units interconnect in unexpected ways, reinforcing a comprehensive and shared identity through density and integration. As a result, the community is legible at two scales: as a collection of individual objects, and as single objects that consist of many constituent parts. The spaces between buildings are tasked with unique obligations: to effect a visual and physical connectedness with the community through propinquity and situational closeness. The resultant “village” presents a new collective identity distinct from the typical suburban fantasy, creating a decisive dialogue about house-ness in the city.