16 Houses: Designing the Public's Private House

Front Cover
Michael J. Bell
Monacelli Press, 2003 - Architecture - 181 pages
In April 1998, sixteen architecture firms were brought together to design single-family houses for the Fifth Ward in Houston, Texas, one of the country's lowest-income neighborhoods. Studio Works from Los Angeles, Lindy Roy from New York, Carlos Jimenez from Houston, and Stanley Saitowitz from San Francisco, among others, worked with the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation to produce affordable housing notable not only for innovative design but also for creative production and financing techniques. An exhibition of the architects' work was shown at galleries in Houston and Austin, Texas.

16 Houses documents these proposals with striking renderings and photographs, offering a fresh perspective on the issue of affordable housing. The model of collaborative design it outlines is genuinely new and also unusually pragmatic for a highly politicized field that has traditionally been mired in bureaucracy. By bringing together architects, developers, academics, community organizations, and public agencies in a grassroots effort, 16 Houses demonstrates a way to transcend politics, providing a blueprint for a new approach that may well represent the future of low-income housing in the United States.

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16 Houses: Designing the Public's Private House

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The federal government's 1990s effort to decentralize public housing and encourage ownership through down-payment vouchers for low-income home buyers prompted this artful, innovative answer to the ... Read full review


Designing the Publics Private House Michael Bell
Domestic Architecture and Private Art

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About the author (2003)

\Michael Bell is an architect practicing in New York and an associate professor of architecture at Columbia University. He has also taught and lectured at Rice University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He is the author of a monograph on Stanley Saitowitz and the coeditor of Slow Space, and his work is collected in the monograph Michael Bell: Space Replaces Us; Essays and Projects on the City.

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