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2010 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award Recipient

Category 3: Community-Informed Design Award

Congo Street Green Initiative

Photo 1 of 7



    The project shows thoughtful
    consideration of the occupant’s
    needs, which is especially
    important because of their
    economic difficulties. It shows a
    beautiful re-use of existing
    housing stock, and the fact that
    the owners can remain makes it
    100 percent better still.

    The architectural team’s
    understanding of neighborhood
    social structures and resident
    investment in the revitalization
    process were essential to
    project success.


    2010 AIA/HUD
    Secretary’s Awards

    Andrew V. Porth, AIA, chair
    Porth Architects, Inc.
    Red Lodge, Mont.

    Natalye Appel, FAIA
    Natalye Appel + Associates

    Geoffrey Goldberg, AIA
    G. Goldberg and Associates

    Grace Kim, AIA
    Schemata Workshop

    Jane Kolleeny
    Architectural Record

    New York City

    Luis F. Borray, Assoc. AIA
    U.S. Department of Housing
    & Urban Development
    Washington, D.C.

    Regina C. Gray, PhD
    U.S. Department of Housing
    & Urban Development
    Washington, D.C.



building community WORKSHOP



Congo Street residents (including Vernessia Garrett, Patricia and Earnest Garrett, Frankie Boulden, bcWORKSHOP)




Notes of Interest

This project involves a narrow street of 17 single-family and duplex houses, all built before 1910. It is home to a tight-knit community of residents, all of whom expressed a desire to remain on the street, despite the need to redevelop these older homes. Therefore the challenge was how to redevelop without relying upon relocation, even temporarily, or incurring steep financial burden.

Through a series of conversations with the residents, a plan was developed to restore and/or reconstruct six owner-occupied homes. The idea is centered around the concept of creating a temporary home, or “holding house,” to house the family whose home was currently under renovation. Through staying in the holding house within the community, the home-owners are available to work with the team to reconstruct their home. In addition, each house that has been rebuilt incorporates materials salvaged from the existing home.

To date, three resident’s homes have been completed and the fourth is under construction. This concentrated effort to address homes in distressed neighborhoods changes the conversation about the current approach to urban housing development and sustainable design. The holding house model challenges the current scope of urban revitalization, which prior to this have taken the approach of slum clearance or urban infill, and gives new value to disadvantaged communities by bringing innovative ideas to their front porch.




TMBP/Click Structural Engineering






Photo Credit


© building community WORKSHOP


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