Small Homes: The Alligator House in New Orleans

Reader Contribution by Susan Melgren and Web Editor
1 / 5
2 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5
5 / 5

The Alligator House, nicknamed as such for its “open-mouthed” look, was designed and built as part of the rehousing effort in post-Katrina New Orleans. Designed in a shotgun style where all the rooms in a home align, allowing for natural ventilation front to back, the 872-square-foot Alligator Home is narrow, just 13 feet across, making it the perfect size for the infill lot it sits on in New Orlean’s inner-city neighborhood Central City.

At just 13 feet across, the Alligator House fits perfectly on its urban infill lot in New Orlean’s Central City. Photo Courtesy buildingstudio.

The Alligator House makes use of durable, hurricane-resistant materials. Insulated windows and a tight thermal envelope keep the home’s energy costs down. The home’s second bedroom features a rolling wall along the hallway that can be closed for privacy. One of the Alligator House’s most important features, however, is its front porch and bleacher-like steps, which connects the home to its community by providing a place for neighbors to sit and visit or the homeowners to observe neighborhood happenings.

Backlit translucent white panels provide privacy for the living room as well as indirect lighting for the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Photo Courtesy buildingstudio.

The Alligator House is designed in the traditional Southern shotgun style. All of the home’s rooms are aligned front to back with one hallway running down the side, which aids ventilation and helps the home fit on its narrow lot. Photo Courtesy buildingstudio.

The home’s front porch and bleacher-like steps provide a perfect gathering spot for neighbors to sit and chat. Photo Courtesy buildingstudio.

Photo Courtesy buildingstudio