Bee Breeders has revealed the winners of the 2019 Rome Collective Living Challenge competition. Teams were asked to to propose solutions for collective living in Italy's capital city. Participants were tasked with designing a concept for affordable co-living around affordability and community. Organizers sought ideas that could be implemented across Rome to increase the city's housing stock.
As the organizers state, in 2018, protesters took to the streets of Rome to rally against resident evictions. After years of housing shortages, rising rental prices, and unemployment, thousands of families and individuals were no longer able to meet their mortgage and rent payments, and many were being forced from their homes. This is just one event that exhibits how Rome, like several capital European cities, has become unaffordable. There was no minimum size required, and proposals were asked to be flexible enough to adapt to different locations and inhabitant requirements. Participants were free to choose and identify their own competition sites.
1st Prize Winner
Karin Frykholm, Lisa Fransson, and Rron Bexheti of Lund University proposed “Vito del Muro - Co-inhabiting the Aurelian Wall” to target Rome’s 19km-long, 3rd-century defensive fortification as a generator of future housing stock for the city. The project focuses on demonstrating that the wall has not only resilience, but also serves to be permanently useful for Rome’s greater good. The submission offers a simply-constructed unit design that might be implemented along the intact portions of the historic structure. Adapting to the linear form of the wall, residential units are placed side-by-side and connected by a communal living space.
2nd Prize Winner
George Guida designed “Anti-Isolato” to detail a method for transforming a typical residential Roman street block, which it claims to be an insular courtyard enclosed by a perimeter of residential buildings. The design proposes opening this inner court to the city street by removing one of the block’s sides and, furthermore, by introducing a number of collective programs within the block. The project presents a case study of historical Roman social housing projects and extracts the lessons learned from their failures. To overcome the isolated nature of these constructions, the ‘new’ block is populated with collective working spaces and collective living units linked to a perimeter atrium open to the courtyard. These collective spaces are balanced by private residential units that face the streets.
3rd Prize Winner
Proposed by Philip Kolevsohn, the project “R(h)ome" converts an existing structure into an alternate form of housing to demonstrate the importance of adaptation over new construction in such a historic city. The proposal states: “To build something new in the center of Rome is virtually impossible, yet the large amount of underutilized spaces, especially in religious complexes, offers new potential for creative adaptation in the struggle to provide the diverse housing needs of a contemporary city.” The project converts the historic guesthouse of the 14th-century Chiesa e Monastero di Santa Brigida into a 21st-century co-living facility. Through a number of sensitive design considerations, the existing floor layout is adapted to a variety of different residential unit types, shared outdoor spaces, and a communal coffee shop, dining area, and kitchen.
BB Green Award
Thee BB Green Award was presented to four young architects; Ana, Camilla, Isabel and Rafaela who studied at the University of Minas Gerais and Camilla who studies at FUMEC.
This competition is part of Bee Breeders’ Affordable Housing Crisis design series, which has over the past year introduced a number of proposals to address the global demand for urban housing. Some of these submissions and others have been included in the inaugural print publication by ARCHHIVE: Issue 1: What is Affordable Housing?
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