Incrementalism: Re/inserting into the homogenous, block by block development of Houston's 4th Ward, or, How to put out a gentri-fire
Master of Architecture
The current state of the 4th ward is one of atrophy and gentrification. The existing housing stock, as well as existing demographic and community structures are being replaced block by block with a drastically different, homogeneous housing type and demographic. Considering its place in the city, this new housing stock is very understanding of the density necessary for the future of this area, but has no reference to the existing housing types or demographic. The desire to maintain and rebuild what is left of the 4th ward, and its community, is faced with the necessity of densification and diversification. And to do this, we have to resist the urge to replicate the aesthetic icons of the past, such as the shotgun house. Through analysis, we see that the housing types of the 4th ward, rather than being defined by stylistic choices, are actually defined by their form in relation to use and proximity, and on a larger scale, by their varied, incremental patterns of development. It is these quantitative aspects of the 4th ward, at the scale of the city lot & the urban block, that can be preserved and incorporated into the inevitable densification of the area.
Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning