Affordable housing proposals for Las Vegas honored in new design challenge
By Niall Patrick Walsh|
Thursday, Feb 23, 2023
Buildner Architecture Competitions has announced the results of its Las Vegas Affordable Housing Challenge. Part of the organization’s Affordable Housing series, the competition challenged participants to propose a “flexible, innovative, pilot-phase concept for affordable housing within Greater Las Vegas.”
“There is no one right answer to making housing affordable,” the organizers say in their summation of the competition results. “Today, a host of new ideas and platforms are enabling people to own or purchase homes. These creative methods include everything from community co-living facilities to 3D printed homes, stackable modular homes, new zoning policies, and new forms of transit-oriented development.”
The winning schemes have been republished below.
First Prize: (still) Learning from Las Vegas by Chang Yuan Max Hsu (United States)
Excerpt: "The submission’s key proposal is to increase the floor area ratio of underutilized sites as a means to generate density while keeping the existing commercial entities, which fuel the economy, intact. What results is a new residential ‘datum’ that serves as a catalyst for housing that is more affordable. Each massing consists of modular housing units which adapt to the footprint of a site’s existing infrastructure. Perforated facade shelter occupants from the strong sun while providing an advertising surface for companies below."
Second Prize: Common Ground by Ran Zhang, Pengyu Chen, and Yijie Zhang (China)
Jury feedback: "Common Ground proposes a scheme to transform underused urban spaces within downtown Las Vegas such as parking lots, deserted cinemas, and casinos. The ground floor is ‘lifted’ to generate a public layer of community, cultural and commercial spaces supporting the residential program above. A block-sized pilot site was selected on a commercial avenue to make the case for the proposal’s viability as a means to affordability, increased density, and urban regeneration."
Third Prize: Affordable Life by Daniele Borin (Italy)
Jury feedback: "Affordable Life is a proposal for the construction of autonomous residential units capable of being installed atop waste areas in the city. Like a campsite, the proposal is for a partly self-sufficient and reversible system that only partially or punctually relies on the city’s services. The modular nature of the design promises flexibility and adaptability over time for the city and its inhabitants. The project offers ‘circle of life’ diagrams to describe how a typical user might purchase, expand and rearrange one’s living situation over time."
Buildner Student Award: LOA - Land of all by Sofia Machado (Brazil)
Jury feedback: "LOA aims to address housing issues by focusing on three interrelated aspects of Las Vegas: the tourism economy, the city in the plan, and sustainable building practices. The project proposes a modular heavy timber structure and prefabricated insert homes with an envelope of rammed earth panels. The proposal is also meant to provide space for ‘nomadic’ inhabitants and alternates insert homes with spaces for RVs and other vehicles."
Buildner Sustainability Award: The Urban Drawer Cabinet Project by Wenlong Lu (Germany)
Excerpt: "The Urban Drawer Cabinet Project is a proposal for a kit of parts consisting of a structural ‘carrier’ that can be built within and over existing railway infrastructure within Las Vegas. Individual ‘cabinet’ living units consisting of a structural steel frame system and prefabricated timber elements of various sizes can be inserted into the carrier."
More information on the competition series can be found on Buildner’s official website here.
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