edward m. baum faia, architect, dallas

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.”

principal in charge / project architect: Edward M. Baum, FAIA, Edward M. Baum FAIA, Architect
developer: Diane Cheatham, Urban Edge Developers, Dallas
general contractor: Diane Cheatham, CCM Group, Dallas
project size: 1,660 square feet per unit
site size: 0.34 acre
construction cost: $101 per square foot
sales price: $275,000 to $290,000 per unit
units in project: 4
photography: Hester + Hardaway

product specs
bathroom and kitchen plumbing fittings, bathroom plumbing fixtures:American Standard; bathroom and kitchen cabinets, entry and interior doors, sheathing, structural lumber:The Home Depot; exterior siding:Jimmy's Cypress; garage doors:Clopay Building Products; garbage disposer:In-Sink-Erator; hardware:Schlage Lock Co., Stanley Hardware; hot water heaters:Robert Bosch LLC; hvac equipment:Trane; insulation:Owens Corning; kitchen plumbing fixtures:Kohler Co.; lighting fixtures:Lightolier, RAB Lighting; oven:Jenn-Air; paints/stains:The Sherwin-Williams Co.; patio doors, windows: Thermal Windows Inc.; refrigerator: Electrolux Home Products (Frigidaire); security system: Granbury Security Systems; shower doors:Cardinal Shower Enclosures; skylights/roof windows:Dome'l