Utilizing a cabin within a sheltering enclosure, La Petite Cabine is a new prototype for the Passive House system for use in New Orleans. Utilizing a sheltering enclosure embraces the vernacular and responds to new demands for low-energy sustainable housing in New Orleans. The enclosure mitigates the negative effects of direct sun in the summer, while maintaining maximum wind access for cross and stack ventilation. The enclosure recalls the industrial architecture found throughout the Industrial Canal, which contrasts with the use of traditional New Orleans proportions and materiality found in the cabin.
Local traditions shape the form through use of proportion found in the vast majority of the shotgun vernacular, as well as with a renewed interplay of indoor/outdoor through use of the side gallery, a living room that opens up onto the gallery and front porch, as well as through an outdoor kitchen. A combination of passive, semi-active and active systems creates a low-energy sustainable housing prototype that reduces electrical need and embraces the "front porch" tradition of the city.