Cottage Square

Tags for this project:
Cottage on DisplaySite Master PlanConceptual Prespective

Location: Ocean Springs, MS. Developed neighborhood in Katrina-damaged Gulf Coast community

The project is the offspring of ideas generated during the Mississippi Renewal Forum shortly after Hurricane Katrina. An assortium of architects, planners, and builders formed with intentions of developing a better method of providing quick, but high quality housing for devastated Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and others living where distaster could strike.

It was decided that housing options could be displayed in a real "Living Neighborhood." The group sought a location which connected to existing infrastructrure, schools, stores, churches, etc., and could respond as an infill example of the plans produced for the town by the renewal forum planners. It could provide not only examples of housing, but neighborhood planning and manufacturing/building alternatives to standard techniques. The group purchased two acres, and development began in June of 2006. One main goal was to permanently house the original Katrina Cottage. The construction of the first Lowe's Kit Cottage was completed and the original cottage was moved to the site for the one year anniversary of Katrina. Governor Haley Barbour dedicated the site on that date. Today, this project is the only built example of the recovery plans provided by planners of the Renewal Forum.

The project continues to transform with plans for building commercial, chapel, and learning cottage prototypes on site. Also, building and manufacturing methods will include stick framing, panelized metal studs, SIPS Panels, modular and other systems building types.

The project is a showplace for "housing with dignity" and an initial step towards fulfilling Governor Barbour's opening remarks and challenge to those at the Forum. Governor Barbour said, "We owe to the people to build back a better place than it was, for if we fail, we would fail ourselves, the people, our children, and their children. At the end of our days' toil, we should be proud we did it right."

Read more at this project's website.

Lessons learned: Very difficult to find contractors, labor, materials, and local support was very difficult as was finding a manufacturer willing to explore vernacular architecture and revise manufacturing processes; positive to build examples to give people a visual example of what's possible

Transect Zone(s): T3 sub-urban, T4 general.
Status: 1-25% Built
Project or Plan's Scale: Neighborhood
Features: Affordable/subsidized housing.
Land area (in acres): 2
Total built area (in sq. ft.):
Total project cost (in local currency):
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Number of hotel units:
Number of residential units (include live/work): 12
Civic uses (type and size): chapel, meeting space (500 sq. ft.), resource center (320 sq. ft.)
Parks & green space (in acres): 4000
Project team designers: Tolar LeBatard Denmark Architects, PLLC
Project team developers: Katrina Cottage Group, LLC

Previous site status: Undeveloped infill

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: - Present