YSOA | Keith Krumwiede and Kathleen John-Alder
H.I. Feldman Prize Winner 2009
Houston, similar to many other Western cities, is a city that is dependent on the car. It is this symbiotic relationship that brought my attention to the typology of the Texas Doughnut. In the effort to maximize the benefit of being able to park on the same level as oneâ€™s unit; I have brought the parking directly into the unit. Conceptually, this merges the suburban garage and the apartment unit, as well as the cul-de-sac and the parking structure. Trees planted between the parking garage and the apartments create a buffer for light and noise, and also act as a backyard: each car drives through the tree canopy and into its unit. By inverting the logic of the Texas Doughnut, it creates an opportunity to create courtyards for the tenants. Each unit is cross-ventilated and employs different strategies for solar blocking such as louvers and operable screens that minimize air-conditioning demands. Units have private yards and the ability to open completely to its respective privatized open-space. Because the parking is brought directly into the unit and each unit has its own garden space, the ground plane is multiplied and elevated, giving each tenant their piece of terra-firma.