graft architects: camelback houses for make it right foundation
jul 03, 2009
graft architects: camelback houses for make it right foundation

camelback house by graft architects
rendering courtesy graft architects

as part of the ‘make it right program’ in the lower 9th ward, new orleans, graft architects
designed 2 houses that have since been completed. the houses use the cradle to cradle
philosophy and received LEED platinum certification. they are prefabricated modular
units, constructed off-site.

for their design they based their ideas using the camelback shotgun typology.  historically,
camelbacks emerged as a way for residents to add a partial second story to a residence,
whether simply to gain more space for a single-family home or to add a rental unit at the
rear of a structure.  in their design, we utilize the camelback strategy to stack a second
efficiency unit above a first floor shotgun house.

a critical programmatic goal within the design is to establish a strong connection between
the private interior zone of the house and the shared public space of the street.  the primary
challenge in achieving this goal lies in negotiating the 8’-0” first floor height that is required
to make the houses safer from future flooding of the street level.  the broad and spacious deck
located in the front yard mediates the relationship between public and private by raising
the deck 5′ – 0′ above grade. 

camelback house
rendering courtesy graft architects

camelback house
rendering courtesy graft architects

residents may enter the house from the side porch landing, leading them
into a large
open space, containing living, dining and kitchen
functions.  the lower unit has a flexible
three bedroom layout that can
be converted into a two bedroom and office layout if desired.
master suite at the rear of the house contains an en-suite bathroom
that shares a common
wet wall with the unit’s other bathroom and
kitchen making a cost-efficient plumbing core.

an exterior stair carries the inhabitants of the efficiency unit up to
a rooftop terrace entry deck.
this secondary deck level may be
utilized as a private deck for the upper dwelling.  it provides
generous outdoor living space, views of the neighborhood, space for a
small vegetable or herb
garden, and easy access to the solar panel
array for maintenance.  the upper unit itself is designed
to be a
simple one bedroom dwelling with a living room and dining area facing
the backyard.
here the efficiency kitchen shares a wall with the bath
to form a cost-efficient plumbing core. 
the kitchen forms an ‘L’ at
the perimeter of the living and dining area in order to create an open
and inviting space.

image courtesy graft architects

camelback house
image courtesy graft architects

camelback house
image courtesy graft architects

camelback house -floor plan
drawing courtesy graft architects

camelback house -sections
image courtesy graft architects

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graft architects (16 articles)

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