David and Jeanette Desporte have long standing family ties to East Biloxi. Despite David’s worsening congestive heart failure he managed to stay active playing music for his church and enjoying his many children and grandchildren in the area. Since the Hurricane the family has gone through a lot but through it all David’s only concern was to see that his wife Jeanette had the home she deserved. David came to realize this goal just days before his passing. Jeanette now lives in her home with her daughter and grand daughter with family members visiting all the time.
This project demonstrates how the demands of accessibility and the new FEMA construction standards can be integrated into the design of new homes in the traditional neighborhood setting of East Biloxi. It meets the challenge of serving a residence at a base flood elevation of 8 feet and 12 feet above grade by creating a series of ramped spaces that gently take one up and through the site to the main living level above. The first ramp, designed in the form a landscaped berm, rises 4.5 feet above grade and defines the front yard as a sloped garden.
The house is shaped by movement to the elevated living space. A ramp moves through the center of the house, creating a dynamic and accessible path up to an outdoor terrace. A screened stair moves up into the house’s living space and is transformed into an elevated screened porch. The screened stair/porch ventilates through a clerestory screen opening and can be opened into the house with interior windows, providing fresh air movement. The ramp and stair activate an open ground level porch. The floor of the raised terrace is made of steel grating to allow both rain and filtered sunlight onto the ground for a shade garden. The kitchen, living room and bedroom open out onto the terrace. The L shaped roof collects rain water which is stored in an elevated cistern to provide gardening water.
|Zoning – RS–5 single family residential
Lot dimensions – 50' frontage x 112' deep
Front Set Back – 20'
Side Set Back – 5'
Rear Set Back – 25'
ABFE – 19'
Elevation above grade – 9' +1' Freeboard
Grid# – 23
Primary – 2
Secondary – 4
Third party – 35,000
Maurice D. Cox is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, School of Architecture. He recently completed eight years on the Charlottesville City Council and served as Mayor of Charlottesville from 2002-2004. He now serves as the Director Design at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C.
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