2014 Yale School of Architecture Jim Vlock Building Project

     Since 1967, first-year students at the Yale School of Architecture have worked collaboratively to design and build a structure as part of their graduate education. Unique among architecture schools, the Jim Vlock Building Project is a required component of Yale's curriculum. In recent years, the Building Project has focused on the design and construction of houses in New Haven's economically distressed neighborhoods. 

     In the design of the 2014 house, the faceted cube pushes the limits of residential convention by maximizing internal efficiency and compactness while allowing internal spatial constraints to find their release in the landscape. This allows the importance of landscape to come to the fore, lending a greener and lusher feel to the very dense housing stock of New Haven’s urban-scape. As proposed, the tenant occupies the 3rd floor, allowing the owner’s space on the first and second floor to spill out onto the land in the form of interior furnishings such as dining tables and pop-out window seats. These elements push and pull on the building’s envelope, establishing a unique dialogue between the interior and exterior. As a result, the site becomes an extension of the owner’s interior living room that can be visually enjoyed by neighboring sites. 

Images and Plans


NeighborWorks New Horizons
Julie Savin
NeighborWorks New Horizons

Academic Discipline(s)
First-Year Master of Architecture students
50 Students
Academic Facts

Site / Structure Dimension
Building Size: 800 sq ft
Project Start
Project Context
Project Type