Zui Lig Ng
University of Houston
Title: Shotgun Chameleon
Concept: Aptly titled, this simple shed-roofed volume adapts to circumstances in several ways. The street-facing ground floor room can be used as a garage or for a home-based business, depending on the neighborhood and codes. Closing off the internal stair (plans) would permit the ground floor to be rented out as a separate living unit or used for less essential functions akin to “basement house” types that are used in especially flood-prone areas of New Orleans.
The scrimlike surface that folds down from the roof on the street side can reflect varying uses. Twined with vines, it can become a literally green shade. It can support louver panels for ventilation and privacy, or even accept signage or advertising for the ground-floor business. A glazed, garage-type door extends the living area onto the porch.
For flood resistance, the ground floor would be framed in concrete block, while the upper level would be clad in structural insulated panels. Since chain-link fencing is ubiquitous in New Orleans neighborhoods, Ng proposes to use it too, but hopes it can “become a blank canvas, where individuality can be expressed through planting or decorations.” Juror Patty Gay complimented the way the entry “used the front porch to be sociable, to see what’s going on, to be able to talk to neighbors.” J.S.R.
“I admire the versatile porch screen.” —Trahan