microhome BLA design

Vancouver firm’s microhome design wins first place

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Vancouver’s BLA Design Group has won first place in an international architectural competition for a sustainable microhome design intended to provide an alternative, entry-level option for Vancouver’s increasingly unaffordable housing market.

The inaugural 2019 Bee Breeders International MICROHOME architecture competition is part of the organization’s Small Scale Architecture Appreciation Movement, which hopes to highlight the fact that bigger isn’t always better. With great design and innovative thinking, small-scale architecture could change how this and the next generation view a residential property.

The jury selected winning entries that were innately hopeful in nature, offering sustainable, small housing solutions with many possibilities for use and implementation.

Shifting Nests by BLA Design Group presents a sustainable housing solution, targeting the growing number of vacant lots in Vancouver. The submission aims to take advantage of these lots by offering a proposal for low-cost small-scale housing. Prefabricated ‘Nests’ were proposed constructed of low-cost materials such as plywood, metal cladding and corrugated polycarbonate.

The jury commentary states they were “impressed by the sensible linear plan layout,” and that “the project is depicted beautifully in plan and section, giving sense to the project’s layout and form.”

“The key requirement of the competition was to create a livable entry-level home that didn’t exceed 25 square metres. In the context of the affordability challenges of Vancouver’s housing market, this felt like more of a mission than an academic exercise,” said Jerry Liu, co-founder of Vancouver’s BLA Design Group.

“We’re incredibly humbled to have had our vision recognized by such a well-respected group of prominent architects and university professors, particularly given the strength the submissions by the short-listed competitors.”

Bee Breeders serves a global community of 50,000 architects and designers. The MicroHome competition saw entries from Vietnam, Indonesia, Canada, the UK, the USA, Mexico, Japan, and many more.

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