Richard Tyler has lived in Biloxi his entire life. Richards’s home was an heir property he lived in prior to Katrina, a home that survived Camille in 1969. Their home was destroyed by another building floating into the home and knocking it down. He has custody of his teenage sons, Zarek. Richard works as a commercial and residential painter.
The proposition of raising a home 12 feet above the ground introduces several issues that challenge the traditional notion of the Gulf Coast streetscape and affiliated porch culture. Among these is the very concept of having a porch that is an extension of the interior space. In addition, the massing of a proportionally tall house speaks more of isolation than of the construct of a meaningful social space through a series of houses enclosing the street. The Porchdog house addresses these challenges while providing the requisite protection from a potential Category 4 storm surge event.
While the Porchdog house is raised above the ground and essentially open at the ground level, it does incorporate a stoop that serves as a street level porch. The only other ground level elements are an entry stair, enclosed storage volume, a parking area and a stair descending from the rear deck. The storage volume is separated from the entry stair to facilitate a transparent reading of the ground plane and developed landscape elements in the rear yard. The Porchdog house is designed for any East-West facing site regardless of slope and/or vegetation. In response to the typical city block orientation on the Biloxi Peninsula, the house presents solid North and South facing walls against the coastal wind and operable East and West façades to the street and rear yard that can be closed in threatening weather. The Porchdog house is a refuge that still opens itself to the social structure of the city.
The primary interior spaces access two porch conditions. On the street side, both the primary master bedroom above and the great room below enjoy controlled exposure to the street. In contrast, a story-and-a-half tall porch on the rear yard side is shaded by operable weather shutters and provides a connection between the generous rear yard and dining, sitting and sleeping spaces.
Through simple plan manipulation, the Porchdog house offers a wide range of living configurations. The room in the southwest corner of the downstairs plan can be a bedroom, a master bedroom, a home office, or a “granny flat.” Moving the hallway door west of the bathroom on this floor to the eastern side of the bathroom creates a master suite or an entirely separate unit replete with its own access from the rear stair. Upstairs, a bunk room has capacity for up to four children and sits adjacent to a space that can serve as a play area for the children, a sitting area, or a small study.
All construction below the 12 foot flood elevation is made of rot and moisture resistant materials. The storage unit and stoop are CMU and concrete, respectively. The columns, lateral support and structure for the first floor deck are steel. The entry stair and rear deck stair are built of steel and rot resistant wood species of the homeowner’s choosing. Above the 12 foot flood level, construction is of typical dimension lumber, with 24 foot maximum span conditions requiring little invention on the part of the builders. The skin remains a rot resistant wood or metal siding through the full height of the building and wraps atop to the roof.
The Porchdog shutter systems are unique to this house, and allow the entire building to be closed off to inclement weather and respond to daily climate and solar needs.
|Zoning – RS–5 single family residential|
Lot dimensions – 57' frontage x 45' deep
Front Set Back – 20'
Side Set Back – 5'
Rear Set Back – 25'
ABFE – 19'
Elevation above grade – 9' +1' Freeboard
Grid# – 9
Primary – 2
Secondary – 3
Third party – 35,000
Marlon Blackwell was born in Munich, Germany in 1956. He is an architect and tenured professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Work produced from his private practice, Marlon Blackwell, Architect, has received national and international recognition through AIA design awards and several architectural publications.
Porchdog in Second Life built April 21-22, 2007 by Clear Ink
Design Steps Up in Disaster's Wake New York Times - August 2, 2007