WE ❤️ DESIGN. Tours, exhibits, programs and events about Chicago architecture. Formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Between now and 2040, half of all new housing demand will be for attached homes, while the other half of demand will be for small lot homes. The changing real estate market requires architects to thoughtfully reconsider the typical design of homes: How can commonplace materials and forms become special? In what ways can houses be customized for the occupants?
The Francisco is a small lot house made from a common prefabricated steel arch building. By reconfiguring the standard steel panels, which are mass produced in U.S. factories, the house is given a distinct form. In a traditional "kit-of-parts" strategy, a house might be customized by arranging standard panels within a module frame. But this house can be customized by assembling panels in various sequences to make unique profiles and shapes that reflect the owner’s preference.
The Francisco is well-suited for the vacant lots in the Marquette Park neighborhood and offers a new approach to affordable, yet individualized housing.