Architectural Design Challenge for Affordable Housing – N.H.T., Jamaica -3rd Place -2013.
Charge: In keeping with its strategic priority of delivering more houses for less, for its contributors. The National Housing Trust (NHT) extended an invitation for the submission of architectural designs of houses that can be built in Jamaica at a price suitable for low-income purchasers (approximately US $35,555.00) using materials in accordance with local standards.
Some of the other stipulations were that each unit should:
- Accommodate an adult and a child.
- Be expandable to accommodate two (2) adults and two (2) children (one of each gender).
- Should include a place to sleep, eat, cook, for ablutions, to meet, under one roof.
- Accommodate persons who are disabled.
- Take into consideration the climatic conditions of Jamaica.
Concept: The proposed unit originated from the idea of using a ‘box’, one of the most basic geometric forms, to accommodate the required core activities in relative comfort and in an energy efficient manner, while respecting general cultural norms and aspirations. Two strategically placed appendages of a similar depth were then added to the ‘box’ for the purposes of creating additional space and sectioning off exterior areas for complementary outdoor activities.
A ‘low’ vertical interior plane, bisecting the ‘box’, creates two distinct living zones; one, a ‘social’ area containing the meeting, eating and cooking spaces and the other, a more private area containing the sleeping spaces. Also aligned to one side of the ‘box’, is a ‘wet wing’, created to house the spaces for ablutions and water storage.