You are here

Three Houses under a Vacant Lot

Morgan Peterson
Three Houses under a Vacant Lot

From the second-year graduate studio Three Houses in One, Fall 2020
Faculty: Penelope Dean, Grant Gibson

About the studio:

In this comprehensive housing studio, we reframed the concept of minimalism as a question of liveability: that is, a livable minimum over existenzminimum. We asked how a tiny home (less than 1,000 square feet) might offer dignified and comfortable modes of inhabitation in excess of providing for mere “existence.” Putting the rituals and possessions of inhabitants at the center, we explored minimum in all its multitudes: minimum possessions, minimum space, minimum materials, minimum structures, minimum gardens—an excess minimum. We then collectively reimagined the Chicago three-flat as “Three Houses in One” on vacant, city-owned Chicago lots.

About the project:

Three Houses under a Vacant Lot occupies a typical residential plot in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. By peeling up the earth and inserting the units underneath the lawn, the vacant lot is acknowledged and preserved as a part of the urban fabric. The front yard is given back to the community, unprogrammed and ready to showcase the ever-evolving communal ingenuity that is prevalent in the neighborhood—as shown in the many informal parks, community gardens, art spaces, and lush green spaces that currently exist on similar lots.