“OJT [Office of Jonathan Tate] has become virtually synonymous with the Starter Home* series it has developed over the better part of the past decade. These contemporary takes on speculative urban infill were awarded the 2018 AIA National Housing Award and the 2019 AIA National Honor Award (for 3016 St. Thomas and No. 4-15, Saint Thomas/Ninth, respectively), and cemented the firm’s selection for the 2020 American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Prize back in April” writes Kate Mazade for The Architects Newspaper.
Jonathan decided to move to New Orleans after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He wanted to learn what role an architect might play in a city’s reconstruction efforts. He founded OJT, located it in the Garden District and began researching issues relevant to the Big Easy. OJT’s projects have been diverse, addressing everything from affordable housing to public art, but the firm is best known for its Starter Home* series — affordable infill housing on odd-shaped lots. The Starter Home* at 3016 St. Thomas was awarded the 2018 AIA National Housing Award and No. 4-15, Saint Thomas/Ninth received the 2019 AIA National Honor Award.
Starter Home* Two, like the Starter Homes* before it, is an infill project consisting of two homes built on left-over lots. Located at 3609 – 3613 S.Saratoga Street, in Milan, a transitioning, inner-city neighborhood of New Orleans, the two single-family homes were aimed at first-time homeowners, at an affordable price. In order to raise the equity needed to satisfy construction loan requirements, Jonathan Tate turned to Small Change, and with the help of 36 investors, the project became the first equity crowdfunded homes that anyone over the age of 18 could invest in, on our platform..
More recently, Jonathan and OJT have been developing a new project in New Orleans’ historic Lower Garden District. Located at 1476 Magazine St, it is under construction with the help of funds raised through the Small Change platform. The long-vacant lot is being transformed into a nine-room bed and breakfast, four artist residences, a ground floor community hub for neighborhood and cultural activities, and more than 1,000 square feet of pre-leased ground floor commercial space. The 8,000 square foot center of arts, culture and commerce, will be anchored by live/work spaces for artists and the bed and breakfast will be cooperatively owned and run. “It’s a play on an affordable housing model wrapped around a business model,” says Tate.
Jonathan Tate has been lauded for his experimental designs and was recently awarded an Arts and Letters Award in Architecture for “an American architect whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction”.
Image courtesy of OJT (Office of Jonthan Tate)