House Challenge 2019 Explores Temporary Dwellings in the Desert

The House Challenge 2019 has released the results of this year’s competition that gathered entries from all over the world. With a theme focusing on the Desert House, applicants designed new and original concepts for temporary housing in this harsh environment.

Courtesy of Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar

The winning proposal entitled The Tube House, conceived by Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar, is a self-sustainable, environmental, and practical intervention. Located in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the concept was based on the temporality of the structure, permitting, therefore, the use of wooden and local building materials. The architects generated a design based on one module that “fits all”, made out of 4 units - 2x5 meters each, are divided into 2 bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, and a pantry.

Courtesy of Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar

The building process starts off with a timber wood grid as a base for elevation, covered with a layer of plywood panel, and light Date Palm Particle Tubes (DPPT) made out of the trunk and rachis of the date palm tree, stabilized using heavy sandbags. For our floor, we’ve added a plywood panel, and attached are Plywood Pegs to keep hold of the Date Palm Particle Tubes (DPPT). To top it off, we’ve used Tightly Woven Dry Palm Leaves Panel.

Courtesy of Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar

Flexibility is assured by a light fabric material that separates the different spaces. The configurations are diverse, resulting in clusters grouped around a shared courtyard. For the self-sustainability aspect, 2 solar panels and a wind tower were added per module. With an approach that aims to facilitate the stay of anyone visiting for tourism, research, or business and transforms this into “in a longer temporary stay and experience a true cultural-almost Bedouin like form of living”, the proposal embraces also the social and cultural aspect of the surroundings.

Courtesy of Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar

Finally, this competition was initially conceived “to challenge and seek the creation of a temporary dwelling with ideas and concepts in architectural design, landscape design, and site planning”, while raising awareness of environmental sustainability. In this year’s edition, the contest requested the creation of a temporary dwelling for a group of 4-6 people to live comfortably, in a desert, part of a larger community with similar living amenities. Check here all the finalists and honorable mentions.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "House Challenge 2019 Explores Temporary Dwellings in the Desert" 01 Jan 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtesy of Ahmed M. Aglan & Haridas Narvekar


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