Annual International Architecture Competition

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #5

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

MICROHOME

MICROHOME is the fifth edition of an annual architecture competition launched as part of Buildner’s Small-Scale Architecture series. 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.

MICROHOME has been organised in partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS publications, which is excited to announce the first issue of its bi-annual MICROHOME Magazine. This publication carefully curates the most innovative ideas submitted as part of the MICROHOME competition series, alongside built and conceptual small-scale residential works by architecture firms and product manufacturers from around the globe.

 

 

Order MICROHOME Magazine Issue 01 here

 


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 25m². 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: Thomas Christoffersen, a partner at BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; Sevince Bayrak, an architect, writer and co-founder of SO?, an Istanbul-based studio working on architecture and urbanism; Sarah Broadstock is an architect at London-based Studio Bark; Anne Cecilie Haug, the director of staffing, senior architect, and member of the research and innovation team at Snøhetta; Gavin Hale-Brown, Principal of London-based Henley Hale-Brown, which recently received the prestigious Neave Brown Award for social housing; Norihisa Kawashima, founder and principal of Nori Architects in Japan; Francesca Perani, founder of Bergamo, Italy-based Francesca Perani Enterprise, and co-founder of activist project RebelArchitette; and Patrik Schumacher, company director at Zaha Hadid Architects.

Buildner and its jury team thank each of the designers who took part in this competition.

Enter the next
competition edition!

ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME
Small living, huge impact! Edition #6

Design a new concept of small-scale home

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Feb 16
Apr 18
Jun 16
Register now

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #5
1st Prize Winner

Project name

Micro Colony

Authors

Misak Terzibasiyan
Amir Feizinezhadgheshlagh
Thimo Derks

Company

Uarchitects

Netherlands

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

We can think out of the box and try different kinds of concepts and new experiments. Thinking conceptually, applying new ideas and developing sketches into actual buildings and concepts – in some small measure, it is a feeling of the divine, because you are allowing something that was not there to be created. It appears later in its context, providing meaning and experience.

Jury feedback summary

Micro Colony - Fighting poverty and climate change in Bangladesh is exactly the sort of entry jurors receive with enthusiasm. The project attempts not only to resolve the general requirements of the competition project brief, but it steps further to address a pressing, real-world issue specific to a particular region. By doing so, the author has designed in response to regional materials, building techniques and other parameters, yielding an excellent, contextual project.  The proposal is for a floating home that has the capacity to grow, with other homes, into a colony. The result is an organic community building type that uses local materials to economize and reduce carbon footprint, as well as to react to the rising water levels that will inevitably affect many Bangladeshi communities.

Sarah Broadstock / Buildner guest jury Architect at Studio Bark United Kingdom

“This proposal took a more strategic, long-term approach. Whilst the environment and culture described was specific to Bangladesh, this type of solution could be appropriate across other warm climate countries under risk from sea level rises. The two visuals brought the masterplan to life, showing the potential for a rich architecture for the floating settlement's inhabitants.”

Patrik Schumacher / Buildner guest jury Director of Zaha Hadid Architects UK
“The micro colony proposes a nice solution for the housing problem in Bangladesh. The drawings and imagery express balance and restraint.”
Norihisa Kawashima / Buildner guest jury Founder and Principal of Nori Architects Japan
“There is potential in the proposal for a system that uses fast-growing bamboo to create a lightweight water dwelling and then build a new one when it rots. The proposal to farm on the rooftop is attractive, but it would be improved if a solution for the weight and durability problems were also considered.”

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

Have a presentation for us to review? Order your review here!
  • 6/10
    Linework
  • 7/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 9/10
    Balance of color
  • 8/10
    Layout
  • 8/10
    Hierarchy
  • 8/10
    Annotation
  • 7/10
    Text
  • 10/10
    Clarity of story
  • 8/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The project uses a collage of images based on a primary aerial axonometric which extends across the page and lends a consistent base color to the presentation. The project is well organized, but would benefit from additional hierarchy. While the series of plans and sections are clear and well-drawn, it is suggested that at least one of these images be increased in size on the page to more clearly communicate the design intent. As currently drawn, this series is too small for a reviewer to easily read when viewing the page as a whole. The linework has been well prepared, and so increasing the scale would simply help one to fully understand the material layers and design components included. The text is long and far too small for easy reading. It is recommended that the author reduce the text by half and increase its font size and boldness on the page. The contrast between the white text and the light blue background is inadequate. The comment on contrast also extends to the axonometric diagrams: while the materials have been given colors that convey each element well, the diagrams as a whole fade into the background and are consequently weak in their readability. The large axonometric is excellent in conveying project complexity, materiality and its organic nature at the scale of a community. The use of red numeric annotation could, however, be stronger, as the red text is lost within the drawing and does not clearly correspond to the legend below.

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

Degradable dwelling

Authors

Lionel Giordano

United Kingdom

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Participating in architecture competitions allows me to push my creativity and grants me the freedom of experimenting with innovative solutions without many restrictions.

Jury feedback summary

Degradable Dwelling is a 25m² experimental off-grid house that can be, according to the author, almost entirely built by hand. The design draws from concepts introduced in the 2022 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, a publication which combined design and science to offer suggestions for eliminating waste. The project proposes a microhome built of timber structure and recycled cork blocks, the totality of which can either biodegrade or be reused at the end of the building’s life. The linear, double-height building is designed with a light timber, modular frame and raised above the ground for installation in a variety of environments and climates.

Thomas Christoffersen / Buildner guest jury BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group Denmark

“When area is limited this project adds height to achieve generous space, functional separation and varied occupancy. Raising the building from the ground enables it to be built in many places: well designed, detailed and illustrated.”

Anne Cecilie Haug / Buildner guest jury Senior Architect, Snøhetta Norway
“A sustainable approach, buildable without large machinery. An environment-driven design with good indoor-outdoor connections.”
Gavin Hale-Brown / Buildner guest jury Principal of London-based Henley Hale-Brown United Kingdom
“A beautiful concept, with great use of section and construction technique. It is, however, hard to see how the building would remain warm or cool given the extensive use of polythene and single-layer cork.”

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

Have a presentation for us to review? Order your review here!
  • 10/10
    Linework
  • 10/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 9/10
    Balance of color
  • 9/10
    Layout
  • 8/10
    Hierarchy
  • 10/10
    Annotation
  • 7/10
    Text
  • 8/10
    Clarity of story
  • 10/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The project successfully makes use of a dense layout with plentiful information on a single-board presentation, balancing extreme complexity with white space, a variety of drawing types and light colors for visual balance. The main criticism is regarding the use of text, which may be received as overwhelming for a single sheet submission. It would be helpful if the author found ways either to insert components of the text instead within drawing annotation, or to divide the paragraphs into smaller, more digestible phrases with the use of bold words to highlight key concepts. A bolder sheet title and increasing the size of one of the images is recommended to improve the sheet’s overall hierarchy. As submitted, it is difficult for a reviewer to implicitly understand where to look first - this suggestion would help a juror navigate the page in a more clearly defined direction that begins with general information followed by a more detailed level of information. The large white floor plan would benefit from more varied line weights to more clearly describe the plan’s depth - which components are cut in plan and which are in projection. The use of multiple scale figures in the plan, however, is excellent and clearly communicates how a user inhabits the space.

3rd Prize Winner+
BUILDNER STUDENT AWARD

Project name

Grounded House

Authors

Aleksandra Musiał
Alicja Adela Jarochowska

University

Warsaw university of technology , politechnika warszawska
+124 points!

Poland

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

We like to challenge ourselves, work on something together and learn new skills and architecture competitions are a great way to do that. We also want to do more projects than we have on our studies and we have the freedom to do whatever project we want. Through team work we learn how to communicate and discover what we need in order to work our best. We also like to add our voices to a discussion and show solutions that bring something new to the table.

Jury feedback summary

Grounded House: A house from earth, about earth, for earth, proposes a partially subterranean house for temperate climates. Primarily constructed of earth, timber and potato cork, the design is square in plan with a perimeter of deep timber members set perpendicular to the interior space. These columns frame the windows, create pockets for the infill of cork insulation, and convey a clean grid-based geometry which organizes the space. A slightly-inclined planar roof articulates a certain visual lightness to the building form, to balance the otherwise heavy base. The roof extends beyond each wall to protect the home from the elements.

 

Gavin Hale-Brown / Buildner guest jury Principal of London-based Henley Hale-Brown United Kingdom

“A very skillful use of modular construction and local resources. The project is well-planned and well presented, very few submissions have managed to deliver a concept with so little compromise.”

Francesca Perani / Buildner guest jury founder of Francesca Perani Enterprise Italy
“The design is contemporary, and it seems to integrate smoothly with the surrounding environment through a "sensitive" use of materials.”
Thomas Christoffersen / Buildner guest jury BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group Denmark
“A thought-out modular, tiny home in the landscape. The use of daylight and views with the built-in furniture between the deep columns creates both a connection to the surroundings and a good sense of privacy - well put together and illustrated.”

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

Have a presentation for us to review? Order your review here!
  • 9/10
    Linework
  • 10/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 9/10
    Balance of color
  • 9/10
    Layout
  • 8/10
    Hierarchy
  • 8/10
    Annotation
  • 7/10
    Text
  • 9/10
    Clarity of story
  • 8/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The sheet is well organized into four columns, with general studies introducing the project, followed by descriptive diagrams and finally with details. The quality of the drawings is first-class, with sections, diagrams and renderings all beautifully presented with a clear knowledge of linework, color balance and capacity to induce emotional effect. The renderings are especially effective in communicating the spatial experience both within and outside of the project. One wonders, however, the usefulness of repeating nearly identical images - that on the bottom left and that on the top right of the sheet? As is often the case in single-sheet submissions, it is recommended that the author find a solution to reducing the amount of text and increasing its size. While the text is well segmented into easy-to-read components, it requires a reader to spend significant energy to read each text in full. The sheet is slightly off balance due to the fact that the visually heavier, rectangular renderings of color float above lighter white sections. To rectify this, it is suggested either to place the four renderings along the base of the sheet or, alternatively, to strengthen or deepen the color of the soil in the sections - this would help to ground the sheet visually with more of its visual weight located at its base.

BUILDNER SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Project name

A pallet size house

Authors

Eloy Bahamondes
Lucas Vásquez
Johann Grünenwald

Company

B+v arquitectos

Chile

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Architecture competitions have two sides that make them attractive to us: on one hand, it is a way to democratize architecture by making everyone compete on the same level, and on the other hand, it is a way to go back to designing as it was done in the academy. Somehow, an architecture competition allows proposals to be made in an unprejudiced way. This is similar to what happens when studying at the university, and in the project courses more risky possibilities are considered, which in real life or work are difficult to achieve when there is a client.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Konj

Country

Canada

Project authors

Nasim Mollazadeh Sorkhabi
Sara Vejdan
Arezou Fallah
Nikki Hadad

Project Name

3 Scenes of Home

Country

Taiwan

Project authors

Han Kuo

Project Name

AGAR

Country

Germany

Project authors

Merve Uçan
Berat Can Öztan

Project Name

Student Housing Module

Country

Cuba

Project authors

Amaury Hernández Ochoa
Anabel Morales Villar
Javier Alejandro Cuadra Aruca
Mariangel Pérez Acosta

Project Name

MICASA

Country

Romania

Project authors

Romana Dariana Benea

Project Name

Brew Together Cafe House

University

Cardiff university
+72 points!

Country

China

Project authors

Chuyu Zhang

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

United States

jihoon kim

Canada

University of Calgary

+2 points!
gregory campbell

United States

blake hageman

China

qiu mengbai
wu yue
deng junyue
xia xue

Hungary

Bim.group kft

aron biro

United States

Illinois Institute of Technology

+6 points!
akshat goyal
ethan pulvermacher
moises enciso

China

Wuhan University of Technology

+8 points!
烽 叶
家卓 代
钎 黄
馥洁 魏

Germany

merve uçan
berat can Öztan

Belarus

inch architects

Poland

Warsaw University of Technology , Politechnika Warszawska

+124 points!
aleksandra musiał
alicja adela jarochowska

United States

yiying tang
yue lu
shijia liu

United Kingdom

lionel giordano

Denmark

Aalborg Universitet

+6 points!
nikolaj nielsen
marie louise kristiansen
jonas posselt

Poland

ewelina rybus

Serbia

nina novakovic
tamara milošević

Australia

Bj architects international

ang li
bo shang
haochen jia
chengyu wu

Poland

monika głowala

China

Cardiff University

+72 points!
chuyu zhang

Chile

B+v arquitectos

eloy bahamondes
lucas vásquez
johann grünenwald

Romania

romana dariana benea

Romania

Conic design studio srl

gabriel-andrei alexoiu
cristiana comanici
bianca paun

Germany

alicia davis
maximilian hauss
matthias hauss
simon pscherer

Netherlands

Uarchitects

misak terzibasiyan
amir feizinezhadgheshlagh
thimo derks

United Kingdom

alistair lillystone

Jordan

Bitar consultants, architects, engineers & project managers

abdel rahman bitar
ola bitar
anas bitar

Spain

cristina bao ye

Italy

University of Perugia (Rettorato Università degli Studi di Perugia)

+4 points!
laura suvieri
andrea tumiati

Iran

mahsa rezvani

Canada

nasim mollazadeh sorkhabi
sara vejdan
arezou fallah
nikki hadad

Romania

Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism - UAUIM

+2 points!
buza oleg

Australia

The University of Newcastle, Australia

+2 points!
tai lucas

Netherlands

Delft University of Technology, TU Delft , Technical University Delft

+22 points!
bart bliek

United Kingdom

The University of Manchester

+6 points!
laura blažytė
regina jędrzejek
deekshita nair

United States

david morrison

Uganda

peter kasozi

Taiwan

han kuo

Bosnia

harun sabljaković
sabina filipović

Poland

Poznan University of Technology , Politechnika Poznańska

+4 points!
jakub gasek
kornelia nejmańska

Mexico

emiliano renovales
andrea martinez

Cuba

amaury hernández ochoa
anabel morales villar
javier alejandro cuadra aruca
mariangel pérez acosta
 

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Reccuring architecture competitions

ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME
Small living, huge impact! Edition #6

Design a new concept of small-scale home

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Feb 16
Apr 18
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ideas COMPETITION
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Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

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Creativity gym Short term competitions for you to exercise your creativity

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Prize: 5,000 €
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registration deadlines

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Dec 31
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Competition results

MICROHOME

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #4
Hong Kong 
Pixel Homes

Hong Kong Pixel Homes

Affordable Housing Series #2
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