MICROHOME is the fourth edition of an annual architecture competition launched as part of Buildner’s Small-Scale Architecture series and in partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS publications. As the affordable housing crisis continues to expand to cities around the globe, and as natural resources dwindle in the face of climate and economic crises, the competition seeks replicable ideas for living small, to better serve our changing world.
The MICROHOME competition series challenges participants to submit designs for an off-grid, modular structure to accommodate a hypothetical young professional couple. The only project requirement is that the total floor does not exceed 25 m². Participants are encouraged to rethink spatial organization and incorporate unique aesthetics, new technologies, and innovative materials. Projects can be set on any site, of any size, anywhere in the world.
Buildner collaborated with an international jury that included: Sevince Bayrak, architect, writer, and co-founder of SO?, an Istanbul-based studio working on architecture and urbanism; Anne Cecilie Haug, the director of staffing, senior architect, and member of the research and innovation team at Snøhetta; Thomas Heyer, lead designer of Cover Technologies, whos company mission is to make living in a thoughtfully designed and well-built home a reality for everyone; Sheri Koones, author of Bigger Than Tiny and other books focused on small-scale housing projects and prefabrication; Francesca Perani, founder of Bergamo, Italy-based Francesca Perani Enterprise, and co-founder of activist project RebelArchitette; Carlo Ratti, director of the research initiative MIT Senseable City Lab, and founder of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati; Patrik Schumacher, company director at Zaha Hadid Architects; and Christina Seilern, founder of London-based creative practice Studio Seilern Architects.
Buildner and its jury team thank each of the designers who submitted ideas to this competition, from cities around the globe.
Jury feedback summary
Nomad is a proposal for microhousing designed for seasonal agricultural workers in Turkey, where workers often shelter in tents on rural sites which are, according to the designer, unsafe, unhealthy and open to environmental threats. Nomad makes use of plywood, pine and polycarbonate to offer a two-unit customizable prototype that is part design and part administrative, recommending that the government impose less taxes on employers who provide such housing to workers. The jury writes: “The proposal addresses a social problem with a smart sustainable approach. This plan is very relevant and necessary with so many agricultural workers currently having poor living conditions. The excellent diagrams take into consideration environmental issues of energy and water collection in areas where this might otherwise not be available. The proposal has the potential to solve a real problem - seasonal workers' housing which really requires a compact, tiny and affordable solution. It opens up a discussion to utilize and functionalize the tiny house dream, to offer micro solutions that extend beyond a typical housing prototype or leisure space.”