Kshido's Competition Project

2016 National DiscoverDesign Competition: Design an affordable housing prototype

Define the Problem

I am designing an affordable home for a small family of around 4 to 5 living in Short Hills, New Jersey. This home allows the occupants to experience a very open and free-flowing environment that still accommodates for their basic needs and modes of comfort and survival. Short Hills has a very safe and friendly environment however I believe they are not taking advantage of that quality.

Collect Info

Short Hills is a town that was designed so that everyone in the neighborhood eventually got to know each other. This quality creates a very safe and friendly environment. The town is very wealthy thus making a home that is directed towards the lower income classes should be easily offsetted. The area was built on the idea to keep a safe and friendly environment around a suburban theme, thus I wish to build affordable housing that matches that theme without diminishing its essential qualities.

Brainstorm Ideas

Since the town is built to look friendly and the fact that it is a town full of rich people, I decided to make a house that is on the bigger end yet affordable enough for a family who is in the lower income classes. I made two floors, the first floor was the main living areas where we had a kitchen, a dining area and a living area. The second floor was the residential area where the family showers, works, and sleeps.

Develop Solutions

I used mostly my friends' opinions on how they would combat a situation like mine. They also agreed with my and said they would like to live in a house that can compete aesthetically and functionally just as much as the other houses in said rich neighborhood. The floor plans below were mainly derived from my wish to make the home as spacious and minimalist with all necessities of daily life in a home. I made the first floor completely different in its theme from the second floor to make sure the tenants have a sense of where they are in the house.

Final Design

The final views of my interior and exterior include furniture and equipment that only account for the bare necessities as I tried to highlight the underlying flow and theme of my house. These rooms were depicted to have independent roles despite most of them being connected and not isolated with walls.

Below are views of the living room, the kids room, the adults room, the hallway, the exterior view and the material the house's interior is comprised of.


alichitect702 1 year ago
I genuinely appreciate the amount of renderings you have provided, yet maybe you could have focused more on the quality of the renders such as the detail and the lighting in the rooms. Overall though, I liked it! Good Job!
cbushorn 1 year ago
While the design is beautiful, I question certain aspects of the design. Considering New Jersey has heavy snowfall, sloped roofs generally are more appropriate to avoid buildup (which can weigh much and obviously isn't good for the housing). Therefore flat roof is questionable. Also, it doesn't exactly fit too well in the suburban location you wanted to blend it into. This design is nice but a different location would be more appropriate. It also looks a bit costly from its high ceilings and irregular shape (that would take more to construct). I'm not quite sure how affordable I would deem it.
DZiems 1 year ago
I understand that your goal here is to try to meet the large size and functionality of the homes of the wealthier, but those homes are expensive because they are large and because of the area. I think the design challenge wants the functionality of the house you achieved, but with careful use of space and materials for maximal efficiency. I agree with CBushorn (comment below) that the area of choice might not be the best fit, because a significantly smaller house might stand out negatively, but making an unnecessarily spacious house takes away from the affordability. Further research into material choice would have been nice to see. I like that a lot of areas in the house are not isolated; it keeps things efficient. The house is incredibly aesthetic!
xit.no 1 year ago
Although I like the idea behind your design, I think it would be more suitable for an affordable home to be more compact. The flow of your design is nice but you have a lot of unnecessary open space, and reducing it would also reduce the cost of building the home, as well as heating/cooling costs for the family in the future. Besides that, I think your renderings are good and very helpful to connect your concept of affordable housing to your design.