This competition proposal addresses the housing crisis facing many world cities, and is intended as a small house prototype for temperate climates. It is also an exploration of an ancient housing typology - the courtyard house - that is as relevant today as ever.
Present and future solutions to the world's housing shortages will require us to embrace density and encourage citizens to live and work together as communities in close proximity. This project proposes an urban planning solution by building the houses up to the lot lines without the kinds of wasteful setbacks that plague suburban housing patterns. The urban courtyard house celebrates the traditional courtyard house typology as the most responsible use of land and the most communal form of living. The urban courtyard house encourages neighborly interaction through close proximity to the street and fosters efficient land use by sharing the adjoining lot line - all while ensuring privacy by focusing the internal life of the house around the courtyard.
In a hypothetical community faced with impoverished government services, building the courtyard house will be a community event. Beginning with robust rammed earth walls, followed by pre-cast concrete elements and wood framing, and finally the hanging of the wall panels, the construction of each house will be a testament to the strength and perseverance of community and and will foster cooperative relationships.