UPDATE: This international design competition submission received an honorable mention! We’re not sure how many entries there were overall but the shortlist was 78, and ours was recognized as one of the best! We’re pretty pleased and we’re beginning to discuss getting one built! Stay tuned.
Last week I wrapped up a submittal for the Building Trust International’s Home competition. The design was a collaborative effort with my friend Brian Burtch (check out his blog). We had been “working” on it for a couple of months, but like any respectable architects we ended up working non-stop the last few days before the deadline. Things didn’t come together exactly as we’d wanted, but overall I’m very pleased with what we came up with.
Take a look at the boards below, but here’s a quick synopsis of what the project was and what our concepts were. The brief called for a $30,000 house to be designed for a single occupant. Apparently developed nation’s are undergoing a cultural shift towards people living alone, this competition sought a design solution for this emerging trend.
Our concept was most simply the conservation of space, both at micro and urban scales. On the urban scale we decided that these housing units shouldn’t be allowed to consume more urban terrain than they deserved. Indianapolis’s urban grid is currently set up to sustain large single and multi-family dwellings, because of this we decided to plug our design into the alley-side portion of these sites. Challenging the current development practices by acknowledging that many of these lots could easily support multiple dwellings on the same lot. Housing for individuals that doesn’t dominate or consume the landscape.
On the micro-scale we sought to keep the plan as compact as possible while still allowing for a generous amount of open space. We did this by designing the necessary housing elements into a very compact arrangement. Many of these spaces overlap and blend together. After all the programmatic necessities were taken care of, the remaining square footage is left wide open to be inhabited as the occupant sees fit.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about any of it. There’s plenty that I haven’t said here and that didn’t make it on the boards. The awards are set to come out in mid-September, with the winning design be constructed with the competition’s proceeds. Even if we aren’t selected as the competition winner we are already looking into getting one built on our own. I’ll be sure to post further details if anything new comes up.