International Tiny House competition results are....interesting

tiny houses
© Ryterna modul Architectural Challenge 2018

Not coming soon from a modular company near you.

Ryterna modul is a European modular building company which recently ran an interesting tiny house architectural challenge, and received 150 entries from 88 countries. The program:

This year our task will give a real workout for your brains and creativity, as we ask you to design a TINY HOUSE, which has to be no bigger than 25sq.m (269sq.ft) and has to feature four areas: kitchen, sanitary room, sleeping area and living area. And that's not it. The only available outside communication is electricity, meaning that drinking water for example or black water has to come and go somewhere and do no harm to environment. So composting toilet is your friend!

They recently posted the three winners and one runner-up, and they are....interesting. As is the case in almost every architectural competition I have reviewed on TreeHugger, I like the runners-up better than the winners.


The winner was the Wavehouse by Iranian architect Abdolrahman Kadkhodasalehi. (PDF here).

The present plan is an adaptation of the curved shapes of nature, such as water, waves, etc. which have created a beautiful connection consistent with their surroundings.

The plan certainly is straightforward, but I certainly would not have picked it as the winner.

Torii House

Second prize went to Moscow architects Julia and Stas Kaptur for Torii House, which is much more straightforward. In fact, it reminded me of Christopher Deam's Breckenridge Perfect Cottage of a decade ago, with its wall of glass.

plans of Torii© Torii house/ Julia and Stas Kaptur

What I really like about it is the flexibility- the designers show it in many different forms, and even as a double-wide.

It is beautifully rendered, too. PDF here

Trapezoidal Mod

William Samin of Indonesia designed the Trapezoidal Mod to be either non-trapezoidal and one level or standing up on an angle, for no reason that I can discern other than it has a small footprint and can adapt to various terrains.

Trapezoidal Mod© Trapezoidal Mod

One of the biggest problems in lofts is getting up into the sleeping area, so I am not convinced about this one. PDF here.


ArchTemetNosce© ArchTemetNosce/ Clarence Zichen Qian

I once joked with the late Paul Oberman that if he had a dollar for every time his Gooderham Building was used as a symbol of Toronto he would be a rich man. Here, Clarence Zichen Qian plops a prefab on the roof of the iconic structure. It is the only urban concept shown, and it is a wonder.

unit plans© ArchTemetNosce/ Clarence Zichen Qian

The designer looks at house plan prototypes from around the world to see how their rooms are arranged, studies the basic programmatic requirements, and puts them all together with a grid of boxes. He even gives us incomprehensible architectese:

Temet Nosce, meaning “know thyself“ in Latin, is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias. The project ArchTemetNosce provides a philosophical building environment that initiates the experiencing subjective to explore all the spatial possibilities. Starting to rethink about familiar dwelling circumstance is only the first step. Eventually, knowing yourself is an individual battle. “Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another.”

section through unit© ArchTemetNosce/ Clarence Zichen Qian

Clarence is originally from China but studied architecture at the University of Waterloo and now works for Toronto architects Quadrangle, known to TreeHugger for putting things on top of other things. PDF here.

Hat tip to Inhabitat.

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