The winning designs of the second annual MICROHOME architecture competition have just been announced, featuring innovative solutions to small-scale living. The brief tasked designers to conceptualize an off-grid, modular micro home no greater than 25 square meters (269 square feet) that could accommodate a hypothetical young professional couple.
1st Prize Winner: Horror Vacui
Giovanni Cavaglion, Pu Wang, Emanuele Cavaglion, Xiaoxu Liang (Italy)
Project summary: "Horror Vacui — a postulate attributed to Aristotle, who articulated for the field of physics a belief that 'nature abhors an empty space.' This is a beautifully rendered project for a transformative housing unit that functions like a machine, with retractable ceiling and floor modules controlled via app. [...] The project yields a creative use of small spaces by a simple construction system that provides multiple atmospheres and usage scenarios."
Jury commentary: "It is a good solution to exploit the maximum space available in any layout mode. It Interestingly integrates the digital into the physical space, to make it flexible and adaptable to the user."
2nd Prize Winner: Bricoleur River-House Initiative
Georgia Huang, Andrew Kurniawan, Leonardo Vincent (Australia)
Project summary: "BRI — Bricoleur River-House Initiative — is an upcycling proposal for the polluted and crowded slums of cities like Jakarta, Indonesia. The submission offers a prototype micro-housing unit that combines the reuse of building materials from slums with 3D-printed plastic waste recycled from rivers. [...] The entry suggests a variety of module types, accompanied by axonometric sections shaped to integrate cross-ventilation and integrated plumbing, as well as vernacular elements, such as the Javanese pendhapa — a pavilion-like structure, built on columns, for outdoor spaces shaded from the sun."
Jury commentary: "The proposal combines material and spatial innovation to contribute to a more social, ecologic, and economically sustainable urban future in developing countries."
3rd Prize Winner & Archhive Books Student Award: Anonymous Watchman
Jinlong Li, Sen Yan, Xibao Ren, Huichao Luo (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Project summary: "The project proposes a rectangular block form with articulated pocket windows, a circular rooftop water collection tank, and a single curved corner — these articulate the form just enough to give it refined, idiosyncratic proportions without appearing over-designed. It is an excellent and tasteful proposal that reads like a product in the vein of those by MUJI, IKEA, Toyota, and a host of other recent companies offering well-designed prefab housing units for off-grid living."
Jury commentary: "Tiny, compact and beautiful — just as a microhome should be — with integrated energy and water solutions, good daylight without being transparent, and the use of simple and natural materials."
BB Green Award: E-COMMUNITY
Ali bugra Cebeci, Oguz Kemal Basar (Italy)
To learn more about the winning entries, honorable mentions, and shortlisted projects, visit the competition website.
If you got some compelling small residential concepts up your sleeve, check out the latest 2021 MICROHOME edition which is currently accepting submissions.
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