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Buffalo, New York

Giving an Old Home New Life

Dan Stripp (left) and Paul Dudkowski standing in front of "Quad Space," a small, gray house with sleek, modern, wooden detail.

Dan Stripp (left) and Paul Dudkowski stand near “Quad Space,” the renovated West Side house they renovated for their master’s thesis.

“(The students) worked extremely hard on this project for a year in order to make a point, and their point is that young, industrious people should and can live in the city and live in a really comfortable house and contribute to the city in a very productive way.”
Mehrdad Hadighi
Associate professor of architecture and Quad Space thesis advisor

Where others saw blight, Michael-John Bailie, Paul Dudkowski, Ernest Ng and Dan Stripp saw opportunity. In October 2008, the four friends, then entering their final year in UB’s architecture master’s program, purchased crumbling 139 Howell St. in Buffalo—their thesis project—for $6,500 at a public auction.

They gutted the home and began a renovation that would transform the derelict property into a neighborhood gem. Ultimately, they put $36,000 into renovations.

The finished product, “Quad Space,” is a work of art and a tribute to minimalist living. At less than 700 square feet, the dwelling includes a bathroom with a claw-foot tub, a kitchenette, a parlor and four bedrooms, one of which doubles as a lounge.

Each of the private quarters consists largely of a giant “cube,” a 7-by-7-by-7.5 foot space constructed using a sleek, warm-toned wood. The boxes protrude partway from the house’s original brick exterior, giving the structure a whimsical quality.

Today, Stripp still lives in the house with his girlfriend and his dog, Cosmo, a black Labrador mix.

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