It's a well-known fact that a safe and comfortable home is essential to one's well-being. From Building Trust International's 2013 "The Future of Sustainable Housing in Cambodia" competition, over 600 registered entrants proposed sustainable housing solutions for low-income families in Cambodia.
The jury -- which also comprised of the families who moved into their new homes -- chose three joint-winning designs recently constructed by Building Trust International, Habitat for Humanity, and Karuna Cambodia on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
- Courtyard House by Jess Lumley & Alexander Koller (UK)
- Open Embrace by Keith Greenwald and Lisa Ekle (USA)
- Wet + Dry House by Mary Ann Jackson, Ralph Green, Muhammad Kamil & Nick Shearman of Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd. (Australia)
Keep reading for more details and photos.
"The design competition asked for designs of a $2000 house that could withstand flooding and offer a safe and secure home for low income families in Cambodia. The three housing solutions gave the families the chance to choose a design that related to their specific lifestyle needs.
The designs show a leap forward in providing more flexible homes that allow for phased expansion and that can be delivered within the restrictive low budget. When looked at in comparison with other low cost housing options the internal environments of all three houses provide well ventilated spaces that are light and comfortable to live within. The formal arrangement of spaces both respects traditional Cambodian housing but also highlights potential for future proofing and has created opportunities to try new ideas that have the potential to inform other buildings in the community and the way in which housing is being delivered by housing providers and NGO’s in the region."
"David Cole founding partner and director of Building Trust international said, 'The most heartwarming part of the process so far was watching a family who used to live at the hospital having the chance to move into their home. The project builds on the fantastic work that Habitat for Humanity Cambodia and Maryknoll are already doing in the region and we are glad to be able to encourage international and local architects to rise to the challenge of helping those most in need with the basic human right to shelter.'"
"Now that the winning projects have been realised they show just how much can be achieved with innovative responses to lifestyle and environmental issues. Local skills have been used to great affect and new skills have been shared in the construction process. Community engagement was important throughout the development of the projects from the formation of the competition brief and criteria all the way through the build and ongoing assessment."
"The three building designs sought to challenge the widespread prevalence of brick, concrete and tin and in their own way each project made a step towards more sustainable materials while also respecting the homeowners wishes for the current status symbol materials. Smart board, timber, bamboo and palm were used in the projects and a planned assessment period held by Building Trust international will record the durability and performance of the materials."
"The three houses now make up a kit of house designs that are offered by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia giving a range of choices to perspective families. The finished homes provide show homes which allow for families in need of support to make decisions on design and layout of spaces and be part of the design process at the earliest stage. The houses also provide a resource to illustrate costs of materials and relate information on flood resistance in design from sacrificial parts to more traditional elevated sections."
"Building Trust International are looking at ways to increase the density of the housing designs and increase the flexibility while reducing the complexity of delivering a wide range of designs for NGO’s and housing providers. The Future of Sustainable Housing competition has enabled a range of techniques to be tested and for a wider number of community organisations and members to start thinking about the environmental, social and economic impact of housing and rapid urbanisation in Cambodia."
All images courtesy of Building Trust International.
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