"7+7" by Paul Vincent of Paris, France won Design Marfa's recently concluded Multi-Family Housing Competition for the small desert town of Marfa, Texas. The competition, which attracted 135 design teams from 17 states and 14 countries, sought the best multi-family housing design for a vacant plot of land at the corner of West First Street and North Kelly Street.
The competition pool was then narrowed down to five finalists. The other four teams included:
- Beverly Fisher and Jacqueline Bryan of Light Space Studio, Albuquerque, NM
- Philip Ryan and Aidan Kim of Studio Modh Architecture, Brooklyn, NY
- Benjamin Cadena of Studio Cadena, Brooklyn, NY
- Christopher Gardner of Marfa Row, Brooklyn NY
The jury also selected five Honorable Mention entries. This fall, Vincent will present his team's winning proposal -- which also won the US$1,500 cash prize -- during the Design Marfa Symposium 2015 on September 18-19.
"Marfa, Texas, a town of 2,000 souls, is located in the Chihuahuan desert. Home town of the minimal artist Donald Judd, Marfa has, gradually since the 70s, reached an international recognition in the contemporary art world. The city hosts each year, an increasing a mount of artists and art lovers . This attractiveness might compromise on the long term, the offer for full-time residents housing. How can multi-family housing improve the offer for permane nt housing in this context?
Our proposal is both specific and generic:
Specific, because it meets Marfa's climate requirements, in a sustainable wa y by using local adapted materials and geothermal space organization. Flexibility and space generosity are also given to the variety of Marfa's inhabitant’s needs, such as artistic, local crafts , or domestic activities . (rammed earth wall / north - south traversing units / no structural walls / generous thermal buffering zone)
Generic, because it is more a system than a rooted to the spot answer. The repetitive economic structure allows flexibility, adaptability and fast construction. It has the potential for easy transformation and reconversion of the building. As the size and the amount of units is only based on the lot size, it could be adapted to other Marfa's area or investor's possibilities."
"Joining the context of Marfa , specific and generic meets in the design of our proposal , that has definitely to do with minimal art and the expression of Donald Judd's architectonical aesthetic. The industrial façade is yellow in order to emphasize in an artificial way the color tone of the surrounding landscape. The construction is a mix of industrial prefab elements and vernacular crafted elements. It has the efficiency of an economic structure and the sensuality of a building directly connected to its surrounding and location. The total number of different elements is reduced to the minimum."
"An ambiguity between the massive elements and the light structure is created, as the light elements are bearing the roof and the heavy ones have no structural purpose. the non-heated buffering space between the outside and the day area on the south edge of each unit. It is an extension of the house. It is a winter garden during cold months and a loggia during summer and mid-season. It has no given function. It is as tall as the living providing large appropriable areas. It is economic and therefore gives residents the opportunity to invent their own use of this space. It can be used as a studio, an exhibition area for sculptures, garage, a car can be parked, relaxing area with dining table, sofa, barbecue, ping pong, snooker, [or] just be left empty."
Find the full project statement here.
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