We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "MICROHOME #4" competition – Michael Rees, Jemima Ashton-Harris, Barbara Witczak and Tom Kerr-Bell from United Kingdom!

Honorable mention winners - District.

Founded in Southeast London in 2016, District. Architects established itself as a studio specialising in design-led private/commercial residential projects.

Our directors, Michael and Alexandra Rees, came together with the purpose of creating homes that answer the needs and hopes of our clients and deliver something beyond their expectations. They believe considered architecture and good design are integral to every project, whatever the scale or budget. Over the past 18 months, the practice has grown from two employees to seven, split between experienced architects and younger architectural designers. Throughout the studio, we have a diverse mix of people with varied skills and experiences across all scales and sectors of architecture and interior design.

District. focuses on creating tailored solutions, using the challenges and benefits of each individual scheme to elevate a space from the ordinary to the exceptional.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

District. typically carries out design-led private/commercial residential projects with a focus on the end user and how they inhabit the spaces we design. These range from small private house owner extensions and reconfigurations through to multi-resident new build homes. In every project, there is a focus on the detail, whether that be through the layout and use of a particular room or down to the material finishes within a space. As a studio, we have an inherent focus on sustainability and affordability for the end user; one aspect of this is utilising off-the-shelf sizes and components in our design. When presenting our ideas for the Microhome competition to each other within the studio, it became apparent our preferred concept came from a design idea that follows through nearly all of our projects. The idea of a Pocket door and how that can act as both a door and a wall, allowing spaces to take on multiple functions, providing openness and privacy with a very simple off-the- shelf product.

Adaptability was also a key driver of our design, ensuring that each Microhome could be bespoke and tailored to an individual’s preferences whilst maintaining a component-based construction method.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

For District., architecture is fundamentally about design in the built form. it is about creating beautiful spaces to live in for everyone, no matter what the budget or size of property. This is something we believe strongly in, the ability of an architect to elevate a project or space from the everyday to something special that can have life-changing impacts on its end users.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

This is the first competition District. has entered, it was borne out of a desire to test ourselves outside of our typical client constraints and look at how we could approach a brief without a known end user. We see competitions as a great opportunity to test ideas and explore concepts.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Many thanks and looking forward to hearing from you! Buildner Team The competition allowed us to bring together a larger team than would be usual for us within the studio; we typically work in teams of two. This allowed a more collaborative process and meant we could draw on everyone’s skills and ideas within the four-person team. As with any competition, it has also brought an element of excitement at the prospect of competing against other like-minded teams.

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