3106 St. Thomas

Architect: OJT

Owner: Charles Rutledge & Jonathan Tate

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Category: One- and Two-family Production Homes (category two)                      

The project is the first unit of a speculative housing development, Starter Home*, that specifically targets demand for affordable homes in quickly gentrifying, historic urban core neighborhoods.


The first test site for the Starter Home* thesis, 3106 St. Thomas is an undersized lot in the Irish Channel neighborhood. Technically a historic district, the Irish Channel is in fact highly diverse in the character of its built environment, filled with low-density historic housing equally as regional industrial infrastructure. According to the Starter Home* argument, the site is all at once a legal definition, an embedded history, a record of activity, and a physical entity. A Starter Home* expects no tabula rasa, and in fact relies on the specificities of site in order to function at its best, financially, urbanistically, and spatially. The overlay of zoning – both impediment and opportunity – guides the design process but also provides the potentiality of the site as Starter Home* opportunity. With this in mind, no zoning variances were  sought, and in  its design, 3106 seeks to take advantage of its preconditions: adjacency  to a warehouse  and  a  two-family home,  a  highly restricted, long and narrow footprint, and a rather  generous maximum height of forty feet.

"Innovative in the manner in which it creates a livable floor plan, attractive massing, on an exceptionally tight lot, at an affordable price point" ~ Jury comment

Additional information

Development partner: Charles Rutledge

Engineer - structural: John C. Bose, Consulting Engineers


Victor A. Mirontschuk, FAIA (Chair), EDI International, PC, New York City

Katie Gerfen, ARCHITECT, Washington, DC

Luis Jauregui, FAIA, Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction, Austin, Texas

Adrianne Steichen, AIA, Pyatok Architects, Oakland, California

John Thatch, AIA, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, Pleasanton, California

Image credits


Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Exterior 2

Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Exterior 1

Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Exterior 4

Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Interior 2

Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Interior 3

Will Crocker

3106 St Thomas_Interior 1

Will Crocker