Category: up to $250,000 in construction cost
Jesse’s House, built through an AIA Austin initiative, is a tiny home for Jesse, a community member who had been homeless for much of his life. The home’s design reflects the ideals of shelter and permanence, as well as Jesse’s notions of how to be a good neighbor. It is located in Community First! Village, a cluster of micro-homes, services, and amenities in east Austin that supports those experiencing chronic homelessness.
All residents of Community First! Village are committed to working within the community to earn funds to pay a modest monthly payment for their homes. Payments are structured around the size of the home, but all are less than 200 square feet and have no plumbing. Village residents share group bathing facilities and outdoor kitchens.
"Working with a modest budget, the project strategy cleverly establishes a series of overlapping domestic zones that transition between personal abode and the surrounding community, creating a rich range of spaces that belie its tiny footprint." - Jury Comment
The space and budget for this project were both minimal, so the team’s design solution was simple and efficient. Jesse’s House was built with modest materials that form two discrete spaces: Jesse’s inward-facing living space and an outward-facing screen porch that he can share with friends. The home’s position and dynamic form maximize natural light and breezes while providing a more protected feeling inside. Careful attention was paid to material selection as the design will be replicated several times in a Phase II expansion of the village.
“Working with a modest budget, the project strategy cleverly establishes a series of overlapping domestic zones that transition between personal abode and the surrounding community, creating a rich range of spaces that belie its tiny footprint,” said the jury.
Jesse’s favorite chair is positioned so he can watch television without disruption, but he can also open the front door to enjoy any activity happening outside. In addition, the team carefully inserted special spaces for Jesse to store and display things that he loves and that hold memories, reinforcing the feeling of being at home.