Foreword

Buildner is excited to announce the results of the Los Angeles Affordable Housing Challenge! 

The Los Angeles Affordable Housing Challenge is the 16th installment of Buildner's affordable housing competition series. It welcomed architects and design enthusiasts from around the globe to submit inventive solutions to tackle Los Angeles' housing crisis. The competition was hosted in partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS, and tasked participants with proposing a flexible, innovative, pilot-phase concept for affordable housing within Greater Los Angeles.

Buildner’s Affordable Housing design series posits that there is no one right answer to making housing affordable. Today, a host of new ideas and platforms are enabling people to own or purchase homes. These creative methods include everything from community co-living facilities, to 3D-printed homes, stackable modular homes, new zoning policies and new forms of transit-oriented development.

As Los Angeles grapples with skyrocketing rents, gentrification, and expensive starter homes, affordable housing for lower-income households has become increasingly scarce. This competition tasked participants with proposing design-related solutions to the city’s housing crisis. They were encouraged to submit flexible solutions to accommodate a range of unit sizes including families, single professionals, and couples. There was no set competition site or scale, and participants were encouraged to be as creative as possible. The jury sought projects that challenge typical ideas of housing, design, and the community at large, while at the same time maintaining a practical element that could potentially see these designs realized.

Buildner collaborated with a regional and international interdisciplinary jury panel: Persis Lam is an associate at Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects as well as executive member of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT); Dr. Steffen Lehmann is a tenured full Professor of Architecture and former Executive Director of schools of architecture, including the UNLV School of Architecture in Las Vegas; Christina Lennox is the Cofounder and Chief Product Officer of Brownstone, a shared housing company which makes sleeping pods that transform existing homes into affordable shared living arrangements; Maya Mahgoub-Desai is the Chair of Environmental Design at OCAD University and a practicing Urban Designer and Planner with Moriyama Teshima Architects whose research focuses on public health;  Fotini Pitoglou is a licensed architect in Ontario, Canada, the UK and Greece and a lead architect on hospitality projects at Toronto-based FORREC as well as an executive member of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto; Caitlin J. Saladino serves as the Director of Strategic Development at The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West, a public policy think tank focused on improving health, education, economic development, governance, non-profits, and social services in Nevada; Yimeng Teng is a project architect at Ro Rockett Design, an award winning design firm based in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Aspen; and Katrina Yin, AIA, is an architect and design manager at JDS Development Group in New York City.

Buildner and its jury panel thank all individuals and teams that submitted proposals.

COMPETITION ORGANISERS
Los Angeles Affordable 
Housing Challenge
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Under
Bridge

Turning unused bridge areas into lively homes

Affordable Housing Series 17th Edition ideas COMPETITION

1st Prize Winner

Project name

Remedy Towers

Participating in competitions provides opportunities to expand our knowledge on subjects we may not have access to in our practical work. We always approach competitions by questioning our preconceptions of design while still keeping constraints and feasibility in mind, which has allowed us to both grow our knowledge and reshape the ways we design in our day to day work.

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Country United States
  • 9/10 Linework
  • 10/10 Quality of drawings
  • 10/10 Balance of color
  • 9/10 Layout
  • 9/10 Hierarchy
  • 7/10 Annotation
  • 8/10 Text
  • 9/10 Clarity of story
  • 9/10 Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10 Quality of overall presentation

2nd Prize Winner +
Buildner Student Award

Project name

Housing Textures

As a recent graduate, architecture competitions help me to test my approach and design solutions in a realistic notion. It gives me confidence and positivity in my design process and approach that gives a strong guideline for future works.

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  • 10/10 Linework
  • 9/10 Quality of drawings
  • 10/10 Balance of color
  • 9/10 Layout
  • 9/10 Hierarchy
  • 8/10 Annotation
  • 8/10 Text
  • 9/10 Clarity of story
  • 9/10 Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10 Quality of overall presentation

3rd Prize Winner

Project name

Thrive Revive Unite

For us, participating in architecture competitions offers the opportunity to approach design in a less typical manner. The guidelines and requirements for competition projects often allow us to think outside the box, which greatly aids in creating increasingly innovative work. As students, it's important for us to showcase our projects beyond the university setting. Both the chance to receive feedback on our designs from industry specialists and the opportunity to win various awards are additional reasons for us to participate in competitions.

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  • 9/10 Linework
  • 10/10 Quality of drawings
  • 10/10 Balance of color
  • 9/10 Layout
  • 9/10 Hierarchy
  • 6/10 Annotation
  • 8/10 Text
  • 9/10 Clarity of story
  • 9/10 Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10 Quality of overall presentation

Buildner Sustainability Award

Project name

Community Energizer

Architectural competitions offer a framework for testing ideas. The potentialities of this process catalyze personal growth via the continuous design dialogue found therein, and thus shape new perspectives on evolving creative pursuits.

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Country United States
  • 7/10 Linework
  • 7/10 Quality of drawings
  • 8/10 Balance of color
  • 6/10 Layout
  • 7/10 Hierarchy
  • 7/10 Annotation
  • 7/10 Text
  • 7/10 Clarity of story
  • 7/10 Clarity of diagrams
  • 7/10 Quality of overall presentation

Honorable Mentions

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Project name

Architecture of the Fifth Ecology

Architecture competitions of this nature allow anyone to challenge and provide a fresh approach to existing design dogmas. It is an incredible chance to step away from the conventional means of execution and present a different perspective to a broader audience. It helps to facilitate change in the profession through exposure and discussion, as well as one’s own professional growth. Competitions are a great venue for experimentation, and a laboratory to unpack and test design philosophies.

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Country United States
Project name

Courtyard Block LA: A denser, greener, and more vibrant residential block

We see architecture competitions as a way to work on important questions that may not be sanctioned in a commissioned project. Therefore, we see ideas competitions as a small but critical part of a larger project with many inputs and outputs, and additional sources of support.

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Authors De Peter Yi, Heather Kate Cheng, Peter Loayza Velasque
Country United States
Project name

Depot [+] Living

Competitions occupy the middle ground between a rather wide disjunction between design school and practice, it simultaneously offers autonomy to individual designers who generally work (and think) eclectically as a group, but also more closely simulate the design timeline of ‘conceptual to specific’ that one experiences in professional practice. On a personal level, although Yifan, Lucas, and myself are only one cohort apart each, we realized that our experiences in the same school varied differently as a result of pedagogical changes and disruptions/challenges like the pandemic – so this opportunity gave me some insight into a much more dexterous mode of working that they had to adapt into.

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Authors Tsz Man Nicholas Chung, Peiyu Luo, Yifan Shen
Country United States
Project name

Symbiotic Art Promenade

This is because the contest is an opportunity to broaden one's perspective on architecture and contribute to society.

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Authors Dae Yeob Lee, Seon Lee, 혜린 임, Jong Yun Won
Country South Korea
+72 points Buildner University Rankings
Project name

Lives Between Buildings

Architectural competitions offer us a platform to cultivate innovative ideas rooted in contemporary issues. It is inspiring to learn from the architectural community in competitions as every participant uses different approaches to address the same prompt. All participants bring their unique expertise and past experiences into their designs, allowing us to learn from others in the field, challenge our own ideas, and develop our skill sets.

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Project name

Urban Living Framework

To test and promote urban ideas that in reality would take years to not be realised.

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Country United Kingdom

Shortlisted projects

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The Rack: an open source architecture

Luis Felipe Vasquez Palacios

Rodrigo Pena Macip,

Gerardo Arturo SÁnchez Figueroa

Mexico

MAKERY@LA

Alexis Sanal

Ibrahim Beqiri

Faik Beqiri

Asel Işlak

Turkey

SB9 2.0

Olivia Arena

Office of: office

United States

Lives Between Buildings

Ernest Tse

Alec James Sweeting

Usc - university of southern california

+72 points Buildner University Rankings!
United States

Thrive Revive Unite

Zuzanna Bucko

Alona Usychenko

Warsaw university of technology , politechnika warszawska

+72 points Buildner University Rankings!
Poland

Housing Textures

Australia

Cluster Housing

United States

Social Fabric

United States

Endless Horizons

Walter Hughes

Humphreys & partners architects

United States

Tubetown

Wyższa szkoła ekologii i zarządzania w warszawie

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Poland

Community Energizer

United States

PARK & LIVE together

Warsaw university of technology , politechnika warszawska

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Poland

Los Angeles Mosaic Canvas

United States

Bridging the Highway

Wentao Guo

United States

Affordable Hollywood Dream

Yang Huang

The university of adelaide

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Australia

Location, Connection, Revitalization | Housing Near Downtown

United States

Courtyard Block LA: A denser, greener, and more vibrant residential block

De Peter Yi

Heather Kate Cheng

Peter Loayza Velasque

United States

4DU LA

United States

Big Box Remix

United States

Inclusive horizons

Min Jun Song

Min Jae Song

Jaewoong Han

Korea national university of transportation

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
South Korea

InnoBridges

Hyun Myung Kim

Jong Min Lee

Mo Hyunhoo

Hae Won Jo

The korea national university of transportation

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
South Korea

Living Lot - Urban hub Homes

Semin Tak

Jinseo Park

Seongbeom Song

Lee Gyumin

The korea national university of transportation

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
South Korea

Symbiotic Art Promenade

Dae Yeob Lee

Seon Lee

혜린 임

Jong Yun Won

The korea national university of transportation

+72 points Buildner University Rankings!
South Korea

Falling Balconies

Jade hochschule oldenburg, jade university of applied sciences

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Germany

The missing corner

F-are

United States

ECO-PLEX

Shima Miabadi

Katharina Hoerath

Katie Donahue

United States

Depot [+] Living

Tsz Man Nicholas Chung

Peiyu Luo

Yifan Shen

United States

Urban Living Framework

United Kingdom

Architecture of the Fifth Ecology

United States

District Mutation

Italy

Remedy Towers

United States