Date started: May 2009
Date completed: September 2009
In conjunction with the Architecture Institute of British Columbia, Azure Magazine, and the organizers of IDSWest, Architecture for Humanity Vancouver proposed a competition exploring housing made with prefabricated components.
Bespoke, site-specific architectural design has been highly valued throughout history; it dominates the popular notion of domestic architecture. While one might argue that the meaning of “prefab housing” falls short in this context, prefab housing does offer an entire different set of ambitions such as sustainability through efficiency, economy, and quality through volume. This concept is increasingly relevant as urban populations explode.
AfH-V sought to demonstrate that compact living space, combined with the advantages of pre-fabrication techniques, is a strategy designers can employ in response to the ever-growing population that makes up the urban fabric around the world.
Moreover, the organizers wished to convey the notion that prefab structures may be viewed from a social perspective as a communicative platform that breaks down boundaries and allow communities, city officials and designers around the world to share new ideas about sustainable densification.
With the support of the other organizing bodies, AfH-Vancouver launched the Prefab 20*20 competition in May 2009.
Designers were challenged to propose a free-standing, prefab dwelling unit for a footprint no more than 400sf (37.5sm) in an urban setting anywhere in the world. Fit for two adults, its basic program included sleeping, bathing, cooking, living, working/studying, and storage areas. Submissions were to showcase quality urban living space on a compact scale, and eliminate the social stigma of the utilitarian prefabricated home of the past.
Sustainability through efficiency, economy, and quality through volume were values to be explored.
The competition was widely acknowledged - 285 teams from 149 cities / 26 countries responded to the call for submissions. The winning entry, 2 runner ups, 4 honourable mentions, and 16 shortlisted entries were displayed at the IDSwest 2009 (September 17-20 2009), a prestigious interior design show in Vancouver, BC.
The submissions were displayed in a unique 400sf display booth designed and assembled by AfH-v volunteers.
ECOMOBI: MODULAR HOUSING SYSTEM
MOBIUS ARCHITECTS (KRAKOW, POLAND)
PRZEMEK OLCZYK, WOJTEK GAWINOWSKI, WOJTEK SUMLET
BLACKWELL ARCHITECTURE (VANCOUVER, CANADA)
SHAWN BLACKWELL, KATE FRETZ
DANIEL PREUSSE, BO YOON, MATTHEW FAJKUS
SELF-SUFFICIENT PREFAB HOUSE
SYSTEM DESIGN STUDIO (BARCELONA, SPAIN)
HELBERT SUAREZ FERREIRA, REMI MELANDER
URBAN (TREE) HOUSE
JASON DAVID DESIGNS (NEW YORK, USA)
THE SPONTANEOUS HOUSE
COBOGÓ TEAM (DIADEMA, BRAZIL)
CLÁUDIA BASTOS COELHO, MARIANA MATAYOSHI
FROM PARKING TO LIVING
ÁPORO ARQUITETURA (SAO PAULO, BRAZIL)
DANILO HIDEKI ABE, MAYRA RODRIGUES, RÉGIS SUGAYA
Oliver Lang, MAIBC
Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture
School of Architecture of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia
Michael Geller, MAIBC, FCIP
The Geller Group
Kristina Lee Podesva
Emily Carr University
Jason Heard, Show Director, Interior Design Show West
Linus Lam, Director, Architecture For Humanity Vancouver
Patrick F. Chan, Educator, Architecture For Humanity Vancouver
Architecture for Humanity Vancouver
Interior Design Show West
Architectural Institute of British Columbia