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The Dogtrot District

Critic: Daisy Ames - Rice University
Prompt: Housing Masterplan
Location: Houston, Texas

 

The Dogtrot District

Program / Housing Master-Plan

Location / Houston, TX

The dogtrot typology originated in the American South and Southwest as not so much a way of framing life, but a way of living it.  The Dogtrot District investigates the potential of the dogtrot typology to reassert exterior space as an integral feature of the urban dwelling unit.  Working within the constraints of the developer leasing model, the dogtrot supplants the balcony as the primary outlet of exterior space.  Where the balcony fulfills the role of a financial barnacle, crudely attached to extract additional rent, the dogtrot facilitates a richer exchange between living and sleeping spaces.  The project implements a formula of aggregation allowing units to shuffle from floor to floor.  Exterior screens index regimes of ownership as the corridor threads its way through the building, reorienting the domestic experience in its wake.  Unlike static developer models, this project proposes a systematic approach.  Parking garages anchor the project’s edge, allowing for a variety of housing configurations elsewhere on the site.  While the basic stacking diagram remains constant, formal diversity arises as housing slabs rise from the midrise blocks below.  Dogtrots aggregate at the slabs to produce larger dogtrots, anchoring extended families about an exterior space.

Studio Critic: Daisy Ames

New History  One and Two Story Dogtrots are prevalent in the American South.

New History
One and Two Story Dogtrots are prevalent in the American South.

Plan Perspective  Facilitated by the dogtrot, exterior space divides living spaces from sleeping spaces.

Plan Perspective
Facilitated by the dogtrot, exterior space divides living spaces from sleeping spaces.

Spatial Mathematics  A unit matrix enables the plan to respond to market conditions.

Spatial Mathematics
A unit matrix enables the plan to respond to market conditions.

Section Perspective  The dogtrot blurs the domestic realms of interior and exterior.

Section Perspective
The dogtrot blurs the domestic realms of interior and exterior.

Balustrade   The balustrade indexes regimes of ownership in the project as the corridor determines directionality.

Balustrade
The balustrade indexes regimes of ownership in the project as the corridor determines directionality.

Variable System  The formal system is derived from the courtyard type, but extends across streets. Unit orientation permits tenants to visually claim distant greens. Gardens set atop the parking garages permit communal aggregation above level 1.

Variable System
The formal system is derived from the courtyard type, but extends across streets. Unit orientation permits tenants to visually claim distant greens. Gardens set atop the parking garages permit communal aggregation above level 1.

Conti Street Master Plan  Levels 1 through 8. From block to slab.

Conti Street Master Plan
Levels 1 through 8. From block to slab.

Keegan Hebert Dogtrot District Elevation B
Parking As Anchor  Islands of parking cluster at the edges and anchor greens.

Parking As Anchor
Islands of parking cluster at the edges and anchor greens.

Mid to High  High-rise slabs rise from mid-rise blocks.

Mid to High
High-rise slabs rise from mid-rise blocks.

Dogtrot Perspective  Black cat in a dogtrot.

Dogtrot Perspective
Black cat in a dogtrot.