HOME OFF THE HIGHWAY
OUT OF THE BOX

Boston Massachusetts

+ Information

    This invited exhibition, sponsored by Roberta Feldman of the Community Design Center in Chicago, involves a select group of eight designers across the United States in a study of regionally-specific variations of manufactured housing for different site conditions for a year-long exhibition at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Program

  • Innovations in manufactured housing, which is factory-built and transportable on a permanent chassis and which provides an important source of unsubsidized affordable housing

Design

    The design proposes a formal concept of “open walls and closed walls” that supports different function at each of three sites:
  • Single-Wide Housing in Rural Settings: Manufactured housing, often allowed as-of-right in rural zones, provides simple housing on large lots and farms throughout New England. The single-wide house optimizes operating efficiency and a sense of connection with the land: solar orientation promotes passive solar heating and energy conservation, the open side faces south, and the closed side protects against prevailing northerly winds.
  • Courtyard Housing in Existing Mobile Home Parks: Existing mobile home parks, many today in need of redevelopment, usually have lots so small that houses lack real outdoor space. This design combines two parcels to shape a courtyard with carport between two manufactured wings. The interior landscape organizes and orients all the rooms of the house. This unit demonstrates possible use by different types of households as well as full accessibility by an occupant or visitor in a wheelchair.
  • Stacked Housing as Urban Infill: Narrow deep lots, typical in urban areas developed prior to World War II, readily accommodate manufactured housing. (However, local zoning laws currently prohibit this use of manufactured housing anywhere in New England.) This “zero lot line” house, built on the northern lot line, opens a sunny and more usable side yard, shaped by the neighbor’s closed wall to the south.