Alternative Domestic Utility

Speculative Housing Prototype

2019 — Competition

Architectural Design

Collaborators: Ladipo Famodu, Katanya Raby, and Norman Teague

ADU breaks up the singularity of a typical Chicago single-family home, providing additional points of access and identity for multiple configurations of co-owners or extended families that might co-dwell in a flexible new typology of owner-occupied home. ADU re-imagines the front sunroom of a typical Chicago bungalow as a dedicated Workshop space with direct access to pedestrians along the street via a “Welcome Mat” patio space. Whereas many artists, makers, and creatives that work from home often remain confined to basements or garages that lack light and visibility, ADU positions the home Workshop as a new transparent interface along the street, energizing both neighborhood street life and the home artist’s craft, and celebrating the increasing importance of domestic work space.

An entry ramp welcomes a fully-accessible first floor open living plan configured for aging-in-place. The second floor is dedicated to secondary bedroom suites that each occupy their own partial level along a cascading section. The small level changes afford each bedroom suite its own unique architectural position, vaulted dormer, and identity, supporting the possibility that they might be rented out separately (like a conventional ADU) to supplement the primary homeowner’s income. The level changes also produce a dynamic ceiling-scape to punctuate the first floor, creating a dramatic higher ceiling at the public spaces in front and an intimate lower ceiling at the accessible bedroom in the rear.

ADU bolsters the potential for cultural sustainability—the capacity for a home to support the vibrant livelihood of its family of dwellers for multiple generations.