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Six Hundred

Year: 2022
Location: San Leandro, California, USA
Type: Commission / Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) / Exhibition
Project team: Neyran Turan, Alicia Moreira

ADUs are muddled. While providing higher density on single-family residential lots in suburban neighborhoods, they also facilitate capital accumulation via profit from the uncontrolled ADU rent. Budget stories are equally messy. Pretending to reside in the world of objectivity and facts, cost estimates around construction are rarely precise, grossly subjective, and painstakingly relational. Beyond the quantity take-off of the budgeting of architectural materials, the direct relationship between the cost of construction and the cost of housing calls for the idea of the budget to be imagined differently. If there is ever going to be a more nuanced sensibility of housing cost, it should not only imagine construction itself differently but also confront economics even more directly. This six-hundred sqft ADU proposal for a lot in San Leandro, California, reconsiders budget by pondering these kinds of questions. It revolves around a new sensibility of budget where a new specification accounts for new property ownership models, alternative material supply chains, maintenance, continued stewardship, and disassembly.

Six Hundred is commissioned by the Small Infrastructures group exhibition, which showcases ADU designs that use the economics of building assembly as the groundwork for experimentation. Nine architects teaching at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of California-Berkeley College of Environmental Design consider the overlaps between academia, where cost is often external to conceptual work, and practice, where budgeting is an integral task. Exhibition curated by Michelle Chang and Rudabeh Pakravan.