The Eco Homes Housing Project was developed in the fuel of Detroit’s Midtown revitalization. The site was purchased within the limits of Midtown with the intention of developing a block of Single Family Detached Housing. The homes will demonstrate the most advanced uses of energy, water usage, landscape, architecture and planning as a pillar of forward thinking design solutions in the district. This new model for residential development will demonstrate the best in sustainable planning and design, as well as benefit the community. The project is a key ingredient to Midtown’s Selden Innovation Corridor, which focuses on quality physical place and an ethos of inclusion that attracts a diverse group of workers, population and visitors to the Midtown district.
At the architectural level, this project will provide a house typology that is innovative, affordable, contemporary and energy efficient. At the urban scale, this project seeks to harness the benefits of strategic, targeted, infill development in order to create a low to medium density urban block structure that can become a new kind of Detroit urbanism.
Striking a balance of creating an edge along the street, and individual identity for each home. Five models are created using two basic floor plan options allows the street to become variation of a theme. Each home includes a front porch set only eight feet back from the sidewalk to create a social presence on the street. Front porches are ubiquitous in Detroit house typologies, and act as generators of social interaction, community cohesion and safety provided by the “eyes on the street.” The sidewalk set at the street provides a zone for new street trees.
Each home is divided lengthwise into two parts. One side is the open living spaces and kitchen, the other is a utility component containing the stair and powder room. They are sited so that two homes’ utility spaces are paired close to the lot lines, allowing views from the living spaces out to larger lawn areas.
While the homes are all programmatically similar, slight strategic shifts in the massing result in five unique street facades. This variation along the street introduces variety while allowing the development to remain cohesive.