Bee Breeders presents its inaugural MICROHOME architectural design competition. This competition is the first chapter of our Small Scale Architecture Appreciation Movement, which will highlight small projects from around the world that offer big ideas.
What is a MICROHOME?
As the affordable housing crisis expands to a larger number of cities around the globe, and as natural resources dwindle, we are looking for easy-to-replicate ideas for living small. Participants were asked to submit designs for an off-grid, modular structure that could accommodate a hypothetical young professional couple.
The only requirement of the brief was to design a living structure with a total floor area of maximum 25sqm. Unique aesthetics, new technologies and innovative materials were encouraged. With this competition and others, Bee Breeders looks to build a library of small-scale design ideas that have the potential to change the world.
Can the MICROHOME become entirely new form of architecture?
Jury members found the range of submissions for the 2019 MICROHOME competition promising. Modular homes, floating homes, homes within existing structures, prefabricated homes, shared homes, flying homes, homes that produced their own energy...all of these ideas and more were presented. Entries focused on solutions targeted to cities in Vietnam, Indonesia, Canada, the UK, the USA, Mexico, Japan, and many more. The winning submissions were all innately hopeful in nature, offering sustainable, small housing solutions with many possibilities for use and implementation.
Bee Breeders thanks all of the designers who submitted ideas to this competition, which was truly global. In partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS, we look forward to presenting some of these ideas and more in the upcoming print book, What is Small Scale Architecture? planned for publication in the spring of 2020.
Jury feedback summary
Vancouver, Canada, is quickly becoming one of the world's most unaffordable cities. While a large number of young professionals are drawn to the city by work opportunities, many also soon leave because they simply cannot afford to live here. The city, paradoxically, is not comparatively dense. It is notable that it has many vacant lots that require remediation for development. 'Shifting Nests' presented a sustainable housing solution, targeting these lots, which it claims have recently begun being transformed into community gardens, but are not adequately taken advantage of. The submission aims to take advantage of these lots by offering a proposal for low-cost small-scale housing. 'Nests' are a prefabricated housing solution consisting of a plywood, metal cladding, and corrugated polycarbonate on a series of simple frames. The jury was impressed by the sensible linear plan layout, segmented into zones for resting, bathing, cooking, living+dining, and farming. The project is depicted beautifully in plan and section, giving sense to the project's layout and form. The jury would like to see how this design might be adapted to other cities and climates.