Small homes real and imagined

NEWS RELEASE

Editor’s note: Links to video and high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Mike Williams
713-348-6728
mikewilliams@rice.edu

Small homes real and imagined

Rice Architecture opens +House, presents accessory dwelling designs at Moody Center for the Arts

HOUSTON – (Aug. 27, 2018) – This week, Rice Architecture shows what’s new and addresses what’s next in affordable housing.

In Houston’s Third Ward, the architecture school will open +House for public view. The 350-square-foot house is a project of Rice Architecture Construct designed and built by Rice University students on behalf of Agape Development as a backyard home for counselors who work with at-risk youth.

The +House at 6312 Conley St. will be open to the public Sept. 1 from 1-5 p.m., reprising a private showing for Construct friends and family Aug. 17.

At the same time, Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts will host a pop-up exhibition, “Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling,” that details the thinking behind the building and lays out students’ research on five other ways to build garage apartments in Houston.

The +House built by Rice Construct was assembled with a core unit that centralizes electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and heating and incorporates the bathroom and kitchen. The accessory dwelling will be open to the public on Sept. 1. (Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University)

The +House built by Rice Construct was assembled with a core unit that centralizes electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and heating and incorporates the bathroom and kitchen. The accessory dwelling will be open to the public on Sept. 1. Photo by Brandon Martin

The exhibition opens with a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. Aug. 30 and closes Sept. 1. Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and curator of architecture and design at The Art Institute Chicago, will deliver the first lecture in this year’s Rice Architecture series, “Futures of the Architectural Exhibition,” at the Moody after the reception. (For more on the series, see the details here).

Both the project and the exhibition advocate for accessory dwellings. “These are small second homes that are on the same property as a single-family house,” said Andrew Colopy, a Rice assistant professor of architecture. “Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of historical research on them as a building type, but they’re emerging across the U.S. as one way to address the issue of affordable housing.”

While Danny Samuels, a professor in the practice of architecture, oversaw the student team responsible for +House, Colopy took a fall studio and spring seminar through discussions about how to preserve the function, if not the form, of the city’s accessory dwellings – mostly garage apartments that have long provided housing, if often informally.

Both projects address a prime strategy of Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade: to engage Houston and empower its success.

Rice University architecture students mount the "Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling" exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts. The exhibition will detail the thinking behind the student-built +House in Houston's Third Ward and lays out students' research on five other ways to build garage apartments. (Credit: Rice Architecture Construct)

Rice University architecture students mount the “Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling” exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts. The exhibition will detail the thinking behind the student-built +House in Houston’s Third Ward and lays out students’ research on five other ways to build garage apartments. Photo courtesy of Rice Architecture Construct

“Garage apartments may not be of great architectural value, but urbanistically they are incredibly important,” Colopy said. “We want to share how they benefit a neighborhood, even if their architecture changes.

“With the increasing cost of housing in Houston’s inner-ring neighborhoods, we need every strategy to provide affordable housing,” he said. “We’re thinking about the current value and future of accessory dwellings as models for Houston.”

Colopy said his students designed and modeled new forms of accessory housing that will be part of the exhibition at the Moody, contained within a floor plan matching that of +House. The exhibition will include 3D animations of their ideas as well as half-size prototypes that show elements of two of the proposed structures.

Colopy said the time is right to investigate accessory housing as views on the topic are changing. “In many cities, they have historically been illegal – or at least informal,” he said. “But there are a number of cities in the process of changing their regulations, and some like Portland are running programs to incentivize people to build them.

“It’s one way we can add density to an existing single-family neighborhood and address issues of affordable housing,” Colopy said. “Construct has taken on that challenge.”

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Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Video:

Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/04hWW4–m-w

Video produced by Brandon Martin/Rice University

Images for download:

The +House built by Rice Construct was assembled with a core unit that centralizes electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and heating and incorporates the bathroom and kitchen. The accessory dwelling will be open to the public on Sept. 1. (Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University)

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://news.rice.edu/files/2018/08/0827_HOUSE-1-web-2ji4rj9.jpg

The +House built by Rice Construct was assembled with a core unit that centralizes electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and heating and incorporates the bathroom and kitchen. The accessory dwelling will be open to the public on Sept. 1. (Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University)

Rice University architecture students mount the "Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling" exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts. The exhibition will detail the thinking behind the student-built +House in Houston's Third Ward and lays out students' research on five other ways to build garage apartments. (Credit: Rice Architecture Construct)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://news.rice.edu/files/2018/08/0827_HOUSE-2-web-2d9frwq.jpg

Rice University architecture students mount the “Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling” exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts. The exhibition will detail the thinking behind the student-built +House in Houston’s Third Ward and lays out students’ research on five other ways to build garage apartments. (Credit: Rice Architecture Construct)

 

Rice University students raise the frame for +House, which they designed and built on behalf of nonprofit Agape Development as a backyard home for counselors who work with at-risk youth. (Credit: Rice Architecture Construct)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://news.rice.edu/files/2018/08/0827_HOUSE-3-web-26vcjf2.jpg

Rice University students raise the frame for +House, which they designed and built on behalf of nonprofit Agape Developmentas a backyard home for counselors who work with at-risk youth. (Credit: Rice Architecture Construct)

Related materials:

Construct: https://arch.rice.edu/facets/construct

Rice Architecture: https://arch.rice.edu//

Moody Center for the Arts: https://moody.rice.edu

Agape Development: http://agapedevelopment.org

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.