Kintsugi Place: More than Shelter

KITE is working with House of Hope to develop the vision of Kintsugi Place,  a tiny house village of nine affordable housing units. The goal of the project is to create innovative, permanent housing that provides privacy and dignity while fostering community.

Respecting the fundamental humanity and dignity of the occupants has been a central focus of the design process. Based on the Japanese art form that is it’s namesake, the vision is  a community where someone will be embraced for their scars – the parts of them that others see as deficiencies – and treat them as strengths. Life in a small home setting allows those who are moving off the streets to live safely within 4 walls that are nurturing by design but also allow an individual to live affordably within their means.

At the earliest of phases, KITE developed a user survey for members of the House of Hope community and from their responses determined that the core values for the project would be security, privacy, agency, and identity . To respond to those values, KITE created a site plan that provides ‘back porches’ with privacy and views of nature. Within the home, although small, the sleeping area is separated from the living room and desks are provided for study or work.

The most important feature of the design, explains Architectural Designer Brigida Capicotto, is that the homes are arranged in a way that draws a sense of community.  Each property is connected by winding paths and a large central lawn emphasizing the philosophy of Kintsugi: embracing the broken or imperfect and creating something beautiful from it. The organization of the site echoes fragments of broken pottery mended together to craft something greater.

The energy-efficient neighborhood is designed to fit in a variety of contexts from residential to light commercial and is meant to be a prototype for similar communities nationwide.

 The full complex  includes a community center for supportive services, recreation, and meetings as well as a central laundry room,  a vegetable garden, internal walking path, grill station and an outdoor dining area. A garden building provides space for maintenance storage, garden supplies and bikes. 

Estimating and constructability support are provided by builder Site Specific.