With a majority of our previous Home Building Curiosities, I introduced noble home builders according to how they were meeting the five main principles that William and I are setting for ourselves: Passive House, Net Zero, Prefabrication, Small Footprint, and Healthy Living. For The BLOCK Project, I’m going to scratch all of that, and just jump straight into telling you how awesome they are.
The mission of Facing Homelessness, through The BLOCK Project, is to put a 128 square foot Living Building Challenge certified home on every residential block in Seattle~ and have someone experiencing homelessness live in it.
I know I have said it multiple times (outside of this blog), but how they achieve this feat still continues to put me in a state of humbled ‘awe’: They do what they do by revealing the incredible capacity that we as humans have to love and to be loved. You can see this tremendous power of love in every stage of the home~ from how it started, to it becoming somebody’s safe haven.
The Idea’s Beginning
About a decade ago, Rex Hohlbein began inviting people living on the street into his architecture office. He spoke with them. Shared cups of tea. Let them have a dry, safe place to hang out for the day while he made phone calls and worked on clients’ projects. He let them experience a sense of ‘normalcy.’ Most of all, he created a space where the reality of their equality was felt, and their humanity normalized.
Welcome to the seventh and final Petal of the Living Building Challenge. These blogs have been long and many, and we appreciate you sticking with us as we navigate the twenty Imperatives. The past six Petals of Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, and Equity have shown just how challenging building this home is going to be. To freshen your memory on those petals and their imperatives, we’ll show you that chart one last time.
Alligators! Cottonmouths! Sharks! Oh my!!
Our honeymoon 3.0 (celebrating our two year anniversary!) was certainly filled with all three…all thanks to the beautiful, nature-loving, audacious and adventurous, Farren (oh, and her fellow partner in wildlife and everyday life endeavors, Tom!). The two of them introduced William and I to the gulf of Alabama in a bold and very real way. Within an hour of being there, I already had a full-out biology lesson on seashells and their former inhabitants…especially about who eats who…I never knew snails were responsible for that lil’ perfectly formed hole you sometimes see on small seashells (which I always thought was just a convenience for making seashell jewelry)…they just drill their little snail tongues right on in there and suck up the insides…
Beyond the seashells, Farren and Tom, both working for the environmental integrity of Gulf Shores, Alabama, took us on many adventures. We went on excursions through the park and conservation areas, unintentional swims with blacktip sharks, alligator sightings, and a personal tour of a real-life Living Building Challenge certified building: Alabama’s Gulf State Park Interpretive Center…