Multifamily / Merit
Edward M. Baum, FAIA, says the design for this prototype duplex housing is a creative solution to the 50-foot-by-150-foot infill sites common in Dallas, and he's optimistic it can be adapted to other cities. Instead of a conventional single-family house or a low-rise multifamily building, "these smaller homes fit more gracefully on a site," he says.
The linear-shaped, two-bedroom units are aimed at smaller households or live/work arrangements, without sacrificing the precious amenities of a single-family house. Owners use garage doors to enter their units, passing through inviting crushed-rock courtyards. "This really does reconsider how you enter the house," said one judge. "And it's handled in a beautiful and pragmatic way. When you open the door, it's a fantastic experience."
Inside, the main public space consists of a combination kitchen/living/dining room; a narrow gallery leads to the private rooms and additional outdoor spaces. Baum designed the homes for affordable construction using typical lumberyard materials, such as painted 2x12 rafters, waxed concrete floors, and drywall. Even the roof—tapered rigid foam insulation installed on the outside—is a typical commercial spec. "The only custom products are the windows," Baum says. Our judges admired the project's modesty and praised its "elegant, simple moves."