Inhabitat favorites William McDonough + Partners debuted their 100% Cradle to Cradle Flow House this past week. The Flow House is the first in a series of duplexes being designed by architects for the Make It Right campaign to revitalize the Lower 9th, an area in New Orleans which was devastated during hurricane Katrina. The Flow House aspires to follow the firm’s Cradle to Cradle mantra, meaning that after its useful life, all materials in the house can be either recycled or returned to nature.

Community design workshops were invaluable to the Flow House prototype, ensuring that the new residence reflects the input of a number of families from the Lower 9th, embodying the diversity and evolution of their community. “Make it Right is proving that good design can be affordable,” says William McDonough, “and it is an honor to be a part of this effort and to see Cradle to Cradle embedded in this replicable community revitalization.”

The two-family residential Flow House, comes in at 1,900 square feet with a budget of $250,000. As is standard with William McDonough + Partners designs, the house is also stacked with sustainable features including a number of passive strategies including deep overhangs, multiple connections with exterior areas allowing for lots of daylight and natural ventilation, roof mounted PV panels, water cisterns to harvest rainwater runoff and rain gardens to absorb any storm runoff.

Jose Atienza, Senior Designer for the Flow House prototype has stated “… our team approached the project seeking to holistically balance and integrate the needs of the Lower 9th Ward Community, the unique qualities of the site and local culture, and the constraints of the budget to create a solution that is both referential yet forward looking. The flexible design is able to accommodate the evolution of technology and changing family structures over time while celebrating direct connections between residents and their environment and neighbors.”

+ William McDonough + Partners