The 3rd-year student team began, like most, by carefully studying their client, which included interviewing Ophelia and documenting her home and property and reflecting on the way she lived. From this the team gleaned the project’s focus: how can a one-bedroom 20K Home be modified to also include a quarter bedroom, fondly dubbed a nook, for short- or long-term guests.
After examining each 20K Product Line Home, the students chose to adapt the original 20K Joanne’s Home design by adding 24 inches of space to the bedroom and bathroom, increasing the width of the home from 26 feet to 28 feet. They gained the space by converting part of Joanne’s spacious front porch, pinching 5 feet of interior space out of the generous 15-foot-deep exterior porch. The resultant porch still seemed deep enough, and the additional 150 square feet of inhabitable space created room for a sleeping nook and for the back door to be located in the bedroom, supporting private access for two residents. In order to address the site’s steep slope and provide an enclosed foundation to support homeowner’s insurance, the house needed a ventilated crawlspace, using CMU blocks to structurally support the house and passive vents to prevent moisture buildup. Once students return in the fall of 2020, after taking a short break from on-site work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next step will be to design and build the ramp attached to the front porch, providing an accessible entrance into the home.