Empty parking lot in DC alley becomes stunning young family home

On a back alley in Washington DC where only a few weed trees grew between derelict cars, Andrew and Hannah Linn erected a totally compostable house of bamboo, cork, wool and wood as a healthy, and affordable, home for their .

“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,” explains Linn's website BLDUS. “Seventy years later, in 2016, DC's zoning regulations were removed, once again permitting alley living in the District.”

There are over 3000 alleys in DC, many of them currently parking lots or trash storage, that could become homes. Calling his a farm-to-shelter , Linn local materials, even trees felled and milled at the site. The primary wall material is , hybrid bamboo-wood plywood that eliminate studs in walls, thereby eliminating bridges and improving the home's insulating performance.

There's no space for a backyard so, inspired by the Roman Domus, Linn and architecture partner Jack Becker, created a center of the house open to the exterior with a huge skylight that illuminates both the second and first floor by using net flooring on half the second floor. Nearly everything material in the home is natural: from the wood pavers to the milk paint.


On *faircompanies https://faircompanies.com/videos/empty-parking-lot-in-dc-alley-becomes-stunning-young-family-home/


  1. Hope they ditch the MDF as soon as they can upgrade to real wood. Kind of blows the “healthy” credentials.

  2. This guy reminds me of the bad guy dude in a track suite in “Despicable Me”, you know the guy who stole the pyramid

  3. I do agree with some of the comments regarding greenery – it’s a great house that would be made even better with at least some climbing plants in the side yards climbing either the fence or the wall.

  4. The obsession with ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ materials is really weird, whilst you live in the city, next to waste bins.
    Mentioning ‘toxins’ when talking about drywall vs plywood and plywood is glued using formaldehyde.
    Whole family is dressed the same color…

  5. this seems like a project that can only exist because somebody is bankrolling the impractical ideas it is made of to make some political point. I respect taking the space that was difficult to use and putting something in it… but if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it right. this seems engineered to be able to say “it’s not man made” when somebody has to bulldoze the compost pile it turns into, three weeks after construction finishes.

  6. It makes the place look like a compound which is really aggressively separated from the community it’s built in.

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