Disaster Recovery Round 2 (DR2)
Architects: buildingcommunityWORKSHOP; unabridged Architecture, PLLC; Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Location: Houston, Texas
Category Three: Community-Informed Design Award
This second round of Houston's post-hurricane disaster recovery program resulted in 240 new single-family homes and 35 home repairs.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike brought more than $3 billion in damages to Texas. Years later, many low-income home owners hit hardest by the storm were still unable to repair or replace their homes, which spurred the Texas General Land Office to grant $125 million to Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department to implement the second round of the city’s Disaster Recovery Program (DR2). The investment, resulting in 240 new single-family homes and 35 home repairs, provides relief to homeowners who need it while revitalizing six of Houston’s diverse neighborhoods.
"The scale of this is very impressive, and the approach monumental in terms of community engagement." ~ Jury comment
The collaborative approach to DR2 strengthened the relationship between the city, residents, and design professionals and was envisioned as a way to fuse the architects’ expertise with the insights provided by those directly affected by the storm.
The team gathered context from each of the six neighborhoods and created engagement events to receive input from more than 300 residents. A community workshop gathered 70 participants to advance the housing needs of each neighborhood through a series of activities that aimed to set the design contextual and programmatic design preferences for each neighborhood. Later, a focus group session asked 15 residents from each neighborhood to discuss designs with the architects and identify characteristics that would best support their daily lives and family routines. Completed designs were on view during two gallery shows, and 210 participants from all six neighborhoods were invited to explore, comment, and vote on the homes on display. Each of the events generated a report that detailed the residents’ ideas and comments as well as analysis that allowed for the architects to refine their designs.
"A great model to use on future projects; you can sense the DNA of the community through it." ~ Jury comment
Home sizes range in size from 1,100 square-feet for a two-bedroom home to 2,360 square-feet for a six-bedroom home, and all designs were approved and permitted with the city. Homeowners were provided with a catalog of all designs based on neighborhood and site considerations and, to date, 260 homeowners have met with the design team to walk through each design and select the home that best suited their needs and preferences.