Alleys play an integral role in keeping the Swamp clean and orderly. For over a century, people lived in hundreds of wooden homes in DC’s alleys until the Alley Dwelling Authority “developed” and “renovated” the alleys by demolishing them in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Seventy years later, in 2016, DC’s zoning regulations were reformed, once again permitting alley living in the District. With little undeveloped land in DC and strict height regulations, alley lots are rare opportunities to add thoughtful houses to the city’s fabric.
An adaptation of a Roman domus to the hollow of a Capitol Hill block. A compostable confection of bamboo, wool and wood sets the table for a farm-to-shelter, regional building cuisine.
Read more about the house in Dwell.
A long house stretches itself out toward the sun, anchoring a small alley with its wraparound ground level fence screen. Windows fit into horizontal bands of wood cladding, and two balconies complement a large ground floor living space and screened porch.
A creative partnership with a builder-neighbor leads to a new cork clad alley community. Screens, fences, balconies, and shades moderate privacy and sunlight.
Slate clad twins mirror each other. Similar relationships to the alley, but very different relative to the Sun.
The extreme size of this oblong alley lot affords the opportunity to elaborate a new texture for alley housing, as opposed to the solitary residence . A linear repetition of six semi-detached homes and porches follows the subtle alley topography.