This house is the latest example of Studio 804’s mission to build creative sustainable housing in established, but marginal urban neighborhoods. It is convenient to downtown Lawrence, Kansas, to the public transportation system, and the bike trails that link the town. It is less than a block from the East Lawrence Recreation Center, which offers a wide variety of services, and is across the street from Brook Creek Park and its open green spaces, playgrounds, and large mature trees. It is a 1,300 square foot house that makes extensive use of salvaged material and minimizes energy consumption. Sixteen net metered solar panels on the roof provide up to 4.8 kilowatt-hours of power and will generate enough electricity to operate the house at net zero energy use over a calendar year.
Studio 804 has always been willing to build on brownfield and undesirable infill sites in urban neighborhoods. This house was built on two small lots that had been built up above the flood plain of Brook Creek. We saw it as an opportunity, as the property cost less than a typical vacant lot in the established neighborhoods of Lawrence.
A signature element of the house is “the notch” where one enters the house. The covered walkway along the south side of the house widens at the living area, creating an outdoor room that acts as a foyer for the house and as a screened patio for outdoor seating. It is visible to the living room, kitchen, dining area, and flex room through floor to ceiling walls of insulated glass which are supported by a custom-made steel structural frame.
The insulated metal panels that distinctively clad the house were rejects from the construction of a tennis center being built nearby. When Studio 804 began to shape a design around these panels, the prefabricated steel Lustron houses that were developed in the United States after World War II came to mind. They were a response to the lack of housing for veterans returning from the war. This house shares the spirit of the Lustron homes. It is a model for how self-sustaining, low maintenance, fully accessible houses can be built for everyone in the future as resource management becomes increasingly necessary.
LEED Platinum Certified