The project is located in Norris, Tennessee – a model community constructed in 1933 by the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of the Norris Dam project. A key component of this New Deal village was the Norris House, a series of homes built for modern, efficient living. Original designs integrated new technologies – municipal electricity and water systems – and incorporated new materials and building techniques. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Norris is among the first planned communities in the US. The Plan of Norris provided a series of design lessons – compact houses connected by footpaths and roads to schools, services, and a central common.
A New Norris House commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project and seizes the opportunity to reconsider the shape of landscapes, communities and homes today. The design consists of an infill lot and a single-family dwelling that is modular, prototypical, and resource efficient. A LEED for Homes Platinum project, the New Norris House pursues high performance building through both traditional and innovative means. The home conforms to the local, vernacular form yet sharpens it with crisp contemporary details and bright, airy interiors. Complimentary performance and design intentions extend to the landscape where water systems provide greater independence from the central grid in contrast to aims of the 1930’s. A monitoring, residency and demonstration program is extending lessons learned from the old and the new Norris houses.