International Architecture Competition

Home for the
Blind

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

Home for the
Blind

Official Partners

Home for the
Blind

Bee Breeders Competition Organisers is pleased to announce the results for its Home for the Blind Competition!

The Home for the Blind competition is part of a Bee Breeders Competition series focused on accessible architecture. It seeks designs for a semi-detached house for a single blind occupant, including basic amenities such, as a kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom, as well as a small courtyard. The competition asked the questions: How can architecture influence the way a person moves through a home? How can it help people to feel safe, comfortable, and independent? Participants were asked to select a theoretical site from their own home country.

The fantastic international jury consisted of: Jos Boys, co-founder of UK-based The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, a platform bringing together disabled artists and built environment students, educators and practitioners, author of Doing Disability Differently: an alternative handbook on architecture, dis/ability, and designing for everyday life (Routledge 2014), and editor of Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader (Routledge 2017); Maya Mahgoub-Desai, Chair of Environmental Design at OCAD University and a practicing urban designer and planner with Moriyama Teshima Architects, whose interdisciplinary research interests focus on public health, socio-ecological models of urban development, and decolonization of design pedagogy; Chris Downey of Architecture for the Blind, who has over 30 years of architectural experience, continuing without sight since 2008 and whose lived experience with blindness has added unique value to projects for or relevant to the blind and low vision community; Rosa Lorenzo Downey of Architecture for the Blind, who has honed her creative use of colour theory and materiality on a broad spectrum of architectural and interior projects over the past three decades;  Alan Dunlop of Alan Dunlop Architects, an architect with a portfolio of award-winning buildings, including the internationally renowned Hazelwood School for children and young people who are dual sensory impaired: blind and deaf; and Rion Philbin, creative director of No So Studio and previous founder of So & So Studio, whose past projects include the Casa-mac project, a home in Italy for a blind woman.

Bee Breeders and its jury panel were pleased to receive many well-considered proposals from around the world. We congratulate the winners and thank each participant for the time and energy contributed to this event.

1st Prize Winner+
ARCHHIVE Student Award

Project name

The Guiding Wall

Authors

Claire Hicks
Joshua Tan
Christina Zhang

University

Yale school of architecture
+176 points!

United States

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Jury commentary

The Guiding Wall was evaluated as the strongest project received for this competition. The project presents a considered and thoughtful approach to designing a space that provides security and a way-finding approach as well as an environment enhanced by sound, temperature, and contrast. The jury writes, “The project offers a nuanced design approach that does not solely rely on the guiding wall for differentiation of the spaces but caters to multiple senses at once in order to signal the transition of one space to the other and uniquely characterize each space. The proposal aptly addresses space planning and circulation with respect to a logical sequence of daily activities and brings attention to bright and high-contrast color-coding, materiality, lighting conditions and wet vs dry areas in the bathroom. Considerations would be needed for flexibility and diversity in the way an individual’s daily activities are sequences, minimizing the use of moveable furniture yet allowing customization, and for the possible integration of support technology into the environment. This scheme is a well-balanced, comprehensive design for a resident that is blind or with low vision, while being a delightful home for those with sight. It succeeds in providing a simple organizational structure with a logical flow that is built upon good common sense and a mature level of good “blind” common sense. It demonstrates a convincing development of multi-sensory place-making in each room with a great strategy of multi-sensory transitions between them.” 

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

Because every step counts

Authors

Aleksandra Maszczyk
Oliwia Karapuda
Artemis Athanasiadi

University

Academy of fine arts in gdansk
+92 points!

Poland

Jury commentary

Cause Every Step Counts is designed with a centripetal plan to lead an occupant through the home using the walls, which begin and end at the same location. The jury commented: “The design of this home is tremendously successful as a simple home to move through, orient within and hold in mind as a mental map or model. Additionally, the organization of the house is built around 3 distinct natural-living places that are sensory rich. With each end of the home opening to the wooded landscape and the centrally located sensory winter garden, each room has the potential to come to life with a dynamic rich experience that would evolve throughout the day and year. It is unclear, however, if the winter-garden has the potential to be opened to natural air, breezes and sounds when the weather permits but assuming that it is operable, it would have the potential to keep the house dynamic, fresh and sensorily rich throughout the year. Additionally, the entry approach and connection to the wooded landscape would make for a nice transition out from and a recognizable approach to the home without sight. Where the design excels, however, the text fails to live up to its promise. The text as a narrative explanation is an uncomfortable over-reach of excessive and ill-founded help and assistance - no matter how well intentioned it may be. Counting steps, especially within one’s own home, is not necessary or representative of contemporary blind orientation and mobility training and is not necessary within the knowable and intimate confines of a private domestic environment. The intentions behind these overt tactics would be better achieved through further development of the inherent spatial and experiential clarity through greater development of its multi-sensory design pallet. That said, the success of the plan and the overall sensory richness of the home truly excels as a rich, dynamic and respectful home for the blind when released from the overreach of the text.”

3rd Prize Winner+
BB GREEN AWARD

Project name

Barn Home

Authors

Lucie Perretten
Arthur Stepczynski

University

Epfl école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne
+122 points!

Switzerland

Jury commentary

Barn Home was judged to be a design that has the essence of a terrific home for the blind, though the jury also had comments for why it fell short of achieving success. The jury writes: “The root of its restraint is in the relentless and uncompromising respect of the historic traditional stone walls of the structure. Limiting the windows as well as natural light and ventilation to a level above the average head-height creates an interior environment with little meaningful connection to the surrounding landscape and all the rich sensory experiences it has to offer. Creating an interior courtyard is a terrific design element but in and of itself is not sufficiently dynamic or rich to meaningfully enliven and sensorially animate the home despite the tremendous potential to welcome the scent, the sounds and the freshness of the vineyard into the interior spaces. Opening some portion of both ends of the stone wall enclosure would provide the relief necessary to realize the innate richness of this site while escaping the logical interpretation that the blind resident. Guests, for example, would not appreciate a view out or physical or sensory access to the vineyard. Once opened at either end, the logical next step would be to flip the locations of the bathroom with the bedroom as well as the living space with the kitchen - all of which would greatly improve the functioning of the plan as well as its sensory and direct connection to the landscape. Despite these challenges, the essential plan of the home is easily understood, navigated and lived in with or without sight. Challenging the apparent sacred integrity of the perimeter stone wall however, is the key toward realizing it this scheme true potential as an extraordinarily dynamic, sensory rich and exceptionally comfortable home for the blind.”

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Treading Time

University

Architectural association school of architecture
+72 points!

Country

Germany

Project authors

Sari King
Vang Anh Tran
Ching-Han Chiang
Seonwoo Kim

Project Name

The Flow

University

University of toronto
+72 points!

Country

Canada

Project authors

Sophia Liu
Yichen Zhang
SongYuan (Cindy) Wang

Project Name

A home built around senses

Country

Portugal

Project authors

Mafalda Mota
Mariana Simões
Henrique Andrade

Project Name

Home for the Blind

Country

Romania

Project authors

Horatiu Bran

Project Name

BASIC RULES Project

Country

Poland

Project authors

Kateryna Kulish

Project Name

Through the Tube

University

Ied istituto europeo di design
+72 points!

Country

Italy

Project authors

Ida Jonassen
Suzan Amato
Laura Kupka

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

Australia

connor simpson

Portugal

Porto School of Architecture , Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

+22 points!
duarte gonçalves
ana margarida calheiros

France

matthias guillois
gabriel yvon

Australia

University of New South Wales

+22 points!
mouriya senthilkumar
anoushka thatte
rianna tan
kai jun ng

Poland

Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk , Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku

+92 points!
aleksandra maszczyk
oliwia karapuda
artemis athanasiadi

South Korea

chaewan kim
geewon park

Japan

Waseda University Art and Architecture school

+22 points!
zhanyang cen
yuheng lai
abudjana babiker

Poland

kateryna kulish

South Korea

dong yeop kim

Canada

University of Toronto

+72 points!
sophia liu
yichen zhang
songyuan (cindy) wang

Switzerland

EPFL École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

+122 points!
lucie perretten
arthur stepczynski

United Kingdom

james furzer

United States

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

+22 points!
sang mook lim

United States

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

+22 points!
luna (hyunsoo) kim

Canada

zhengyan jin
ming li liu
jianing sima
xiang ye

Iran

Ferdowsi University Mashhad

+22 points!
samine bagherzade
mohsen bahmanyar
mehek asaria
mehrnaz miri

Australia

UTS - University of Technology Sydney

+22 points!
sam lee
sharon hung

Hong Kong

ho chun au-yeung

Romania

Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism - UAUIM

+22 points!
miruna-liana alexandru

Austria

University of Applied Arts Vienna (Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien)

+22 points!
michael nemkov

Spain

gizem zeyrek
ayşe buldurur

Germany

Architectural Association School of Architecture

+72 points!
sari king
vang anh tran
ching-han chiang
seonwoo kim

Finland

Arrak arkkitehdit

léa trouvé
negin armioun

Romania

horatiu bran

Thailand

natwadee kleawsirikul
eakkriddi punnalerdkun
yanisa rungruengphol
itsree chamnankit

United States

katharina hoerath
katie donahue

United States

Glendale Community College

+22 points!
mania minasvand

United States

University of California, UC Berkeley

+22 points!
shin yang

Australia

The University of Melbourne

+22 points!
simeon chua
georgia huang

Turkey

baran akkoyun
esma gül aydeniz
dilek sihem hüzmeli

Colombia

Universidad de los Andes – Colombia

+22 points!
miguel steiner
juan diego rojas
manuel alejandro lombana

Italy

IED Istituto Europeo di Design

+72 points!
ida jonassen
suzan amato
laura kupka

Poland

Wroclaw University of Science and Technology (Politechnika Wrocławska)

+22 points!
weronika lis
dominika jezierska
jakub biernacki

Croatia

valerija bajrami
lucija radelja

Indonesia

andre halim

Canada

erfan behroyan

United States

peter niels heller
jisu yang

United States

Yale School of Architecture

+176 points!
claire hicks
joshua tan
christina zhang

Kosovo

blerine hoti
barda kelmendi
artan millaku
fatos shala

Portugal

mafalda mota
mariana simões
henrique andrade
 

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