Yale’s Jim Vlock Building Project

The Yale School of Architecture established the Jim Vlock Building Project in 1967 and students have since been building homes in low-income neighbors ever since. Originally established by Charles W. Moore, the project was developed in hopes of students gaining experience outside the studio. Moore wanted students to “commit to positive social action by building for the poor.” This year, the students of Yale School of Architecture came up with several proposals for a home that was to be built in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jim Vlock Building Project, from dezeen.com

Jim Vlock Building Project, from dezeen.com

“Students were challenged to develop a cost-efficient and flexible design prototype that could be adapted to similar sites in New Haven and other environments across the country,” the school said in a statement for dezeen magazine. The winning proposal, judged by faculty members and guest jurors, then set out to build their low-cost home in the “economically distressed neighborhood.”

The house, constructed with red cedar, has both traditional and unique architecture. It’s interior focal point is based on “the idea of a multi-functional core.” This “core” acts as a staircase to the upper floor as well as the fixture to which the kitchen cabinetry and appliances are attached. This unique approach gives the homeowners an open floor plan to work with for their communal areas. The team used bamboo and concrete floors throughout in order to maximize on cost effectiveness.

Fortunately, the project was funded by a number of companies who donated the materials. The students also worked with NeighborWorks New Horizons, a nonprofit organization that supports the development of affordable housing, who sold the house to a local family. In previous years, Yale has also partnered with organizations like Habitat for Humanity in their efforts to create sustainable, affordable housing for their Jim Vlock Building Project.

Programs such as Yale’s are a great way to bring fresh eyes and innovative ideas into the world of architecture. It challenges students to be creative and resourceful when proposing a housing development in a low-income neighborhood. While their focus is around an economical structure, they’re still conscious of aesthetics for the homeowners.


from Aaron Yashouafar Architecture http://ift.tt/1lgbXAk

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