Last Look

A place of one's own

Architecture students build a backyard home.

Bob Handelman

Bob Handelman

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Designed and built by sixty-plus first-year students at the Yale School of Architecture, this is a home in which a person living alone could heat up some soup, put up their feet, and read a book—all the while knowing that companionship and aid, if needed, are just a few yards away. A small stand-alone building like this is often called a granny flat or in-law apartment (although, officially, it’s an accessory dwelling unit). This one stands behind a multi-family home  in New Haven that was built by an earlier group of first-year students.

The architecture school and Columbus House, a New Haven nonprofit that works to alleviate homelessness, are now in the sixth year of a partnership for creating accessible and affordable housing. This one is the 56th annual first-year building project (known as the Jim Vlock Building Project since 2007). “It shows what accessory dwelling units could be,” says Adam Hopfner ’99MArch, director of the project. “It shows how they could fit into neighborhoods.”

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