In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Peggy and James Mitchell sheltered 40 New Orleans evacuees in their two-bedroom house in Baton Rouge, La., even after a falling tree demolished one of the bedrooms. When the dust settled, a family friend directed the good Samaritan couple to the design/build firm +one design and construction, which took on the task of providing a replacement dwelling at a cost they could afford. The result is this fresh, efficient, and livable take on a traditional local model.

“It’s an interpretation of a shotgun house, which is a very efficient vernacular typology,” noted one of our jurors. Architect David Baird devoted house-width rooms to a living room/kitchen at the front of the building and a master bedroom at the rear. Between those two bookend spaces, secondary bedrooms, baths, and a laundry stack up along a side hall. High ceilings and a polished concrete floor facilitate cooling; a wooden privacy screen provides shade at the long side porch, while allowing breezes to blow through.

Entrant/Architect/Builder: +one design and construction, Baton Rouge, La.; Living space: 1,300 square feet; Site: 0.22 acre; Construction cost: $96 per square foot; Photographer: Kevin Duffy.

Product details

Bathroom and kitchen fittings and fixtures: Kohler,; Countertops: Wilsonart,; Dishwasher and range: KitchenAid,; Exterior siding: James Hardie,; Garbage disposer: InSinkErator,; Hardware: Kwikset,; HVAC equipment: Trane,; Insulation: Owens Corning,; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams,; Refrigerator: General Electric,; Roofing: Berridge,; Windows: General,

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Baton Rouge, LA, New Orleans, LA.