The Legacy Project
Legacy House Columbus
Located in Linden, a neighborhood historically marked by poverty and crime, Legacy House Columbus stands in contrast as an investment in the long-term vitality of the community.
A well-designed and finished home is typically outside the financial means of residents in the area, but Legacy House flips the script–demonstrating that cost efficiency and good design can live in harmony, no matter the location. Legacy House empowers an economically downturned community to dream into future possibilities for their neighborhood.
Unlike most affordable housing developments, Legacy House is a single-family home uniquely designed without an owner. Traditionally, architects and contractors work to deliver a design solution that meets a client’s vision and budget. Designing a home without a specified client vision allowed the team to reimagine the future of affordable housing.
Bringing the Community Together
The design process prioritized community engagement and inclusivity of residents, fostering a sense of unity and shared ownership in the project. Unique from its inception, Legacy House is 100% donor funded.
To best steward the investment of the community, a small footprint home was designed to ensure both the financial viability and environmental impact of the home. 90% of the of interior FF&E was donated locally, and all partner firms volunteered to participate in painting and trim work. To complete the project on time and within budget, more than 50 local organizations donated materials, furnishings and labor. While the project adhered to a modest budget, design quality and sustainable material choices were prioritized throughout.
The footprint of the home is configured to fit three bedrooms, a difficult achievement for a compact home. The bedroom count and overall design appeals to a mass market— from single professionals to young families and retirees alike. The double-height ceiling and glass front in the living space gives the room an open and transparent feel in a small floor plate. The design is architecturally modern yet restrained, demonstrating that good design can be economical without extravagance.
Small space, big design
The design intention of the home focuses on accessibility, equity and sustainability. Extensive research on tiny home fabrication and affordable housing strategies informed the design of the 750 square foot home. Designed to accommodate full-sized appliances and furnishings, creative design solutions ensured efficient space optimization. The site location prioritizes accessibility to local amenities and connects residents with the surrounding neighborhood.
With warm-toned siding, canted roof and neat walkways, the house is a welcoming single-family home, sensitively designed to its neighborhood context. The materiality of the home utilizes natural textiles and neutral tones to evoke comfort and connection to nature. The two-story living area maximizes daylight and creates a sense of openness within a small footprint. Designed and constructed over a 14-month timeline, the space utilizes utility-saving sustainable features such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting.
The house is designed to reduce energy consumption and utility costs, benefiting both the occupant and the environment. The expansive front porch serves as a welcoming gesture to the social happenings of the neighborhood, fostering connection.