Upon returning home after the hurricane evacuation, Cong Nguyen, a shrimp boat mechanic, found that his house had floated 50 feet away and into to the middle of Crawford Street.
The Nguyen family needs space to grow and room to breathe. Cong and his wife, Oanh Luong, have four teenage children: three boys, Danh, Phu, and Qui; and one girl, Bach Yen.
The design for the new Nguyen Residence is a shifted, double bungalow arranged to embrace the existing oak tree located in the center of the property. It was under this tree that Cong cooked egg rolls and shrimp fried rice for more than 30 architects from Architecture for Humanity and MC2 Architects during their first site visit. Cong now cooks outside in his make-shift kitchen because the FEMA trailer the family has is too small. He also prefers to keep the smell and the heat out of the trailer. The group of architects gathered in the shade of the tree, rested from the hot sun, and enjoyed the best meal they would have in Biloxi.
The front bungalow houses the master bedroom and master bath, and in the back, the other bungalow contains three bedrooms and two baths for the children. The two bungalows share a common living room, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen opens both to the dining room and the back porch, which rings the oak tree and is large enough to be a room in itself. The Nguyens can simply slide the doors open and bring the food from the kitchen directly onto the porch. There they will enjoy many family dinners and parties underneath their beloved oak tree throughout most of the year.
The first contact the architects had with the Nguyen family was beneath the oak tree, and hopefully it will mark the beginning of the Nguyens’ new lives for many generations to come.
|Zoning – RS–5 single family residential
Lot dimensions – 100' frontage x 210' deep
Front Set Back – 20'
Side Set Back – 5'
Rear Set Back – 25'
ABFE – 19'
Elevation above grade – 9' +1' Freeboard
Grid# – 6
Primary – 6
Secondary – 19
Third party – 35,000
The Nguyen brothers, Chuong Q.B. and Chung Q.B., were born in Saigon, Viet Nam in 1961 and 1962. Their family immigrated to the United States, settling first in Fairhope, AL, an hour drive from Biloxi. In 1997, Chuong and Chung created their design/build firm MC2 Architects in Houston, TX. Since then, their works have received notice locally and in several publications.
We are grateful to Oprah's Angel Network and the following sponsors for making this program possible:
Homes get Furnished The Sun Herald - June 5, 2008