Building Community Around the Modern Hearth

Open Access
Wandel, Lauren Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jawaid Haider, Thesis Supervisor
  • Scott W Wing, Honors Advisor
  • Architecture
  • Recycling
  • Housing
  • Baltimore
Rising housing costs, low-quality housing, property crime and neglect stress neighborhoods and take away the pride, ownership, and independence of everyday people. The government has provided housing assistance for over eight decades, but conditions haven’t improved. Today, homeownership is on the decline in America and so are the social, cultural, economic and personal benefits that accompany it. A new breed of modern living, in tune with the resident, site and community, provides a chance for stability in the housing market and economic independence for resident-builders. This solution is the self-built house, which brings people together in place and pursuit. Unfortunately, self-built housing has all but disappeared in the Western World due to a lack of knowledge and growth in restrictions and codes. A Modern Hearth that equips residents with today’s necessities also provides a solution for restrictive building codes; mortgages; and problematic sites. It allows freedom of design, freedom of expense and most importantly, freedom to live independently.