graft architects: camelback houses for make it right foundation
graft architects: camelback houses for make it right foundation 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. the 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 a 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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    501,537 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample