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Affordable Housing: The Latest Architecture and News

Brooks + Scarpa Design a Toolkit for Affordable Housing

Brooks + Scarpa and Plant Prefab have developed a new toolkit to address housing shortages. Scalable as an infill solution, the Nest toolkit can be configured in multiple ways using site types and typical lot sizes, or a combination of them. The toolkit was made to address LA’s shortage of supportive housing for the homeless and provide flexibility to meet the needs of a particular site, neighborhood, and bed count.

Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa Courtesy of Brooks + Scarpa + 12

The Great Tiny House Debate: What it Means to Downsize the Dream

The dream of a home in the suburbs with a white picket fence is changing. Between housing crises and homelessness, mounting debt and downsizing, home ownership has become increasingly less attainable. The tiny house movement is a direct response to these forces, with cities and designers asking whether micro dwellings can address pressing issues or if they are glorifying unhealthy living conditions.

Courtesy of thebearwalk Courtesy of Klein Courtesy of thebearwalk © Federico Villa + 10

NL Architects + STUDYO Design Terraced Affordable Housing for Frankfurt

Dutch design practice NL Architects and Cologne-based STUDYO have designed a terraced affordable housing complex in Frankfurt. The project is part of the new Hilgenfeld development district in the Nidda valley area of Germany. Called Terrace House, the project was made to encourage shared responsibility while celebrating social gatherings and recreational space. The heart of the project is a communal garden and a terrace of jigsaw balconies.

Terrace House. Image Courtesy of NL Architects Terrace House. Image Courtesy of NL Architects Terrace House. Image Courtesy of NL Architects Terrace House. Image Courtesy of NL Architects + 6

COBE Designs Affordable Housing Project for Downtown Toronto

Danish architectural firm COBE has designed a new mixed-use affordable housing development in downtown Toronto. Working with architectsAlliance, the team has designed three buildings that contain over 760 market rental units, 30% of which are affordable. Sited in one of the fastest growing areas of Canada, the new community project is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The development aims to combine spaces for recreation, living and working.

Solutions to London's Mounting Affordable Housing Crisis Proposed in Bee Breeders' Latest

Skyrocketing prices of London housing have become so unbearable that many have turned to less-than-ideal compromises. Large homes can be found but come with commutes of hours; places are still available in the city, but only for those with sky-high paychecks. Unable to balance their needs, people are resorting to workarounds that disrupt the existing urban fabric and dissatisfy all involved. Surely we can do better.

Beyond the Shell . Image © Lianjie Wu, via BeeBreeders Informal Intimacy. Image © Medina Dzonlic, Daniel Andersson, via BeeBreeders Wesley New Town // Chronotopia. Image © Yip Siu, via BeeBreeders Hedge House. Image © David Saand, Simone De Bergh, Björn Vestlund, Jay Williams, via BeeBreeders + 54

Microsoft is Investing $500 Million in Seattle Affordable Housing

Microsoft has unveiled plans to commit $500 million to advance affordable housing solutions across the city of Seattle, Washington. The money, to be distributed as loans and grants, will kick-start new solutions to the city’s housing crisis, where income increases have lagged behind rising housing prices.

The investment breaks down as $225 million committed to subsidize middle-income housing construction in six targeted cities, $250 million to support low-income housing across the King County region, and $25 million to philanthropic grants to address homelessness in the greater Seattle region. The tech giant has targeted the region in close proximity to the site of its Redmond headquarters expansion, expected to accommodate 8,000 new employees.

Call for Entries: Disruptive Design - New Solutions to Affordable Housing

Disruptive Design is a three-part design competition that seeks to address the challenges associated with designing and building affordable, owner-occupied housing.

Architects, designers, students, and those invested in urban development are invited to submit their speculative ideas for an owner-occupied housing development incorporating a flexible architectural solution that encourages wealth-building through homeownership and entrepreneurship. The competition will conclude with an occupant/buyer-ready prototype of the winning design.

THE CHALLENGE

The desire for affordable housing is present in both the gentrifying and underserved Chicago neighborhoods. In gentrifying areas, land values rise with desirability; in underserved areas, depreciated property and land values produce an appraisal

L.A. Plans to Repurpose General Hospital as Affordable Housing

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have decided to move forward with a plan to reuse L.A. General Hospital as affordable housing for high-need populations. The plan aims to provide homeless residents and low-income tenants with new living units inside the 1930s-era hospital. The board approved a motion to study the feasibility of reusing the structure and to craft a strategic plan that would bring the project to life. As the “birthplace of emergency medicine,” the Art Deco–style building includes 1.5-million-square-feet of space that could be used for the housing project.

In World's First 3-D Printed Home Community, Houses will be Built in a Day for $4000

Editor's Note: This story was originally published 27 March 2018. It was recently announced that ICON, the construction company leading the project, has successfully raised $9 million in seed funding for the project. A new video of the project is included below. 

Tech gets a bad rap for serving developed economies in the interest of money-making. It often takes a few cycles for the technologies that are truly helpful to reach the developing world, hence the unfortunate, slow-draining term called the “trickle effect.”

Courtesy of ICON and New Story Courtesy of ICON and New Story Courtesy of ICON and New Story Courtesy of ICON and New Story + 28

HIR Studio Transforms a Hong Kong Housing Complex Into a Commemorative Relic for Architect Michael Wright

Courtesy of HIR Studio
Courtesy of HIR Studio

Plans for a memorial commemorating the life and career of Mr. Michael Wright, architect, surveyor, and civil servant, have been released. Mr. Wright’s dedication to the architecture of public housing in Hong Kong and the principals on which he designed are encapsulated in the memorial’s proposed scheme. Wright died in January 2018 at the age of 105 and is considered the "father of public housing in Hong Kong" for redefining the city's standards for public living quarters.

Courtesy of HIR Studio Courtesy of HIR Studio Courtesy of HIR Studio Courtesy of HIR Studio + 13

2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) celebrates transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. 

OOPEAA + Lundén Architecture Company Design Charred Timber Housing District in Helsinki

OOPEAA, working in collaboration with Lundén Architecture Company, has won a design and build competition for a timber housing development in Kivistö, Vantaa in the Helsinki metropolitan area of Finland. Organized by the City of Vantaa, the competition asked entrants to design a district of wooden housing, part of a commitment “to provide climate-conscious development in housing.”

Titled “Upstairs – Downstairs, Living Together on Three Levels,” the OOPEAA and Lundén scheme will form part of the broader sustainable district, creating a link between natural forest, active streets, and railway infrastructure.

Building Trust International Names Winner of the 2018 Affordable Housing Design Challenge

Building Trust International has announced the winner of the organization’s 2018 Affordable Housing Design Challenge. Over 3,000 architects, designers, and engineers entered the competition and 400 design proposals were submitted. Each design sought to provide sustainable, safe, and secure affordable housing schemes that specifically target the needs of low income workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

A jury composed of representatives from Building Trust International, The United Nations Development Program, and the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone selected ‘atArchitecture’ as the challenge winner. Citing the feasibility of the architectural design and the scheme’s careful consideration of Cambodia’s natural environment, the jury saw the design as an optimal solution to a complex, local problem. With over 17,000 factory workers in the region, there are few options for high quality affordable homes. This forces many of these workers and their families to settle for short term rentals with less than adequate conditions and minimal security. These options are often shared spaces that only increase in demand as the number of workers continues to rise in the area.

Over 700 Experts and Active Citizens to Discuss Modern Housing Trends and Challenges in Kaliningrad

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On May 18-19, the city of Kaliningrad, capital of the westernmost part of Russia, will host the Living Environment: All About Housing Forum. The Forum includes a business program and the Urban Weekend outdoor public festival.

Besides sessions and roundtables, the ambitious program of the event includes the shortlist presentation of the projects submitted for the Open International Competition of Architectural Concepts for Standard Housing and Residential Buildings. Architects and bureaus from 39 countries took part in this prestigious competition with their projects of innovative residential housing for future generations of Russians. The competition announces a remarkable prize fund: 20 finalists will receive 1 million roubles (about € 13 300) each, up to five winning projects will be awarded 2 million roubles (about € 26 600) each, and up to five runners-up will receive 1.5 million roubles (about € 19 900) each.

Adjaye Associates Among Team of Britain's Top Designers Commissioned by Startup to Help Solve the UK's Housing Crisis

A new property startup named Cube Haus is looking to alter the existing housing market, offering high-value homes at reasonable prices "that can be configured to fit small and awkward urban sites." To do this, Cube Haus is commissioning a team of Britain's top architects and designers: Adjaye Associates, Faye Toogood, Carl Turner Architects and Skene Catling de la Peña. The team will create a series of customizable modular homes with a focus on outstanding design.

Design by Adjaye Associates. Image © Edit.rs Design by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rs Design by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rs Design by Skene Catling de la Peña. Image © Edit.rs + 13