Small Rehabs Make Good Neighbors


Baltimore, MD  |  3 Rowhouses @ 1,000 sf each

Professional Photography by Vacants-to-Value staff

There is no shortage of opinions on what to do with vacant houses in Baltimore City. As architects, the neglect of so many structures can be especially hard to witness.  Through the city’s Vacants-to-Value program, we found a way to do something, and our first architect-led development project was born. 

Blending the roles of architect and developer can streamline creative problem solving.  In the case of the Latrobe houses, we wanted to show that rehabilitated alley houses can provide just as much value to a neighborhood as its larger housing stock.  

At eleven feet wide, under 1,000 square feet, and bisected by a narrow, ladder-like stair, the original layout of these houses was cramped and uncomfortable. The goal for the project was to create a functional and flexible 2-bedroom house, using every inch effectively. A 2” steel frame defines the stair and guardrail. Exposed framing at the bathroom allows usable space to slot between each stud. Light from a skylight above the stair filters into the central kitchen, and half-lite doors bring daylight into every room.  

Small details make a big impact. When neighbors toured the houses, they could not believe these were the same size as their own. We are really proud of the work and investment we put into this project and our hometown.