FINALIST 2016 National DiscoverDesign Competition - The Freedom Square Home, Affordable Housing prototype

Design an affordable housing prototype

Define the Problem

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The cost of living has gone up in the past few years and has cause new things like businesses and expenses on property taxes to take over which drives the people living there out, this process is called gentrification, although gentrification is a bad thing it can also be avoided by building affordable housing for families in need or people that are living there. I will be designing for three students that graduated and are planning on being nurses. When they come straight out of school they don't go straight into a job and it's hard for them to find a job so the affordable housing can help them stay in an exclosed environment until they get on their feet by helping them not pay as much as they would in a regular apartment and keep the costs low.

Collect Info

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My site visit was one where I got lots of information about my location and the area that it is in. Judging by the area I feel that the three people that I design for will love it, from the resident's feed back to the schools and recreational space, Homan Square proudly stands as one of the city’s prime examples of mixed-income housing and community revitalization. New residential development, coupled with strong support from the city and private investors, has made Homan Square a thriving community with shopping, dining and entertainment near by. The modern homes, green commons and planned layout of the neighborhood provide a pleasant and spacious backdrop that is rare in Chicago. Great place to live it is 5 minutes from the Illinois Medical District, Blue Line and Downtown!

Things that I Like about housing that I think people should have access to: Being close to recreational spaces, close to a park, close to super markets and having a sense of community.

The current housing options are not so well designed because they usually don't think about the family's need or the way the people living there will get around efficiently. Having an affordable house is always a families or people living there main priority and Homan Square has lots of affordable housing:

Household Income and Average Income in Homan Square top

Median Income Under 25 $22,9244 Median Income 25-44 $24,698 Median Income 45-64 $23,571 Median Income Over 65 $22,19898 Median Income per age 25- $22,9244 25-44 $24,69898 45-64 $23,57171 65+ $22,198 Average Household Income $31,352352 Median Household Income $22,351 Percent Increase/Decrease in Income Since 2000 -1%% Percent Increase/Decrease in Income Since 2010 0%% Average Household Net Worth $280,1955 Median Home Sale Price $44,000 Sales Tax Rate 8%% Average Household Total Expenditure $32,578
People around the world are creating ideas to in prove affordable housing:

  1. Community Land Trust A community land trust is a nonprofit organization that develops permanently affordable housing for the community by taking the cost of the land out of the speculative market.
  2. Modular Housing Pre-fabricated, modular dwellings offer interesting housing options including placing housing units on top of existing buildings. They can also be more affordable and energy efficient than traditional homes. 3 .Baugruppen Originating in Germany, baugruppen is a model for sustainable, affordable housing that is co-designed, co-created and co-owned by its residents. Drawing from both co-housing and condominium models, baugruppen is built around the specific needs and desires of individual communities and keeps costs significantly down by removing developers from the picture.

Brainstorm Ideas

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For inspiration and brainstorming ideas I thought of affordable housing ideas like a Baugruppen, (CLT) Community Land Trust and Modular housing, among these three the one that really stood out to me was the Baugruppen because it was like having a community and that was my main focus and vision to have a sense on community. My floor plan idea was to have three separate buildings that where connected in a U-shape and the park would be in the middle and create this sense of community to let three families come together and enter act but this idea was transformed into a new a better idea that fit my vision better, this idea had still kept the community concept but instead of a park and three separate families it would be there separate people living in one house. During my design process I thought of many different designs for my affordable house going from a simple design for an apartment, to a modern twist to community, to my final design that also incorporated a take on modern architecture and that was unique. I had so many different designs because when I was done with one it never was what I really wanted also I went through many types of floor plans but two stood out. The problem with this and my whole design was trying to find ways to make it affordable and what materials i would use to get the cost low and many ideas came to mind. Having more than one person in a house that has a job reduces the cost of how much one person would have to pay being alone, for instance i have three graduate nurses and I have this because when they come straight out of school they don't go straight into a job and it's hard for them to find a job so the affordable housing can help them stay in an enclosed environment until they get on their feet, by it being more than one person they won’t have to pay as much as they would in a regular apartment and keep the costs low. The materials is a great asset to making this house affordable cork flooring because it's durable, cost less to maintain, and cost less to make when you fall on it it doesn't hurt as much as a regular floor and also is eco friendly. For the windows I thought of a energy- efficient this is a good way and design to reduce the cost and complexity of manufacture, You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows they keep heat in for the sun and cool your house off in summer. If your budget is tight, energy efficiency improvements to existing windows can also help. For the bathroom floor I was thinking of having cost efficient porcelanosa bath tile reducing the cost and for the rest of my structure I was thinking of going with wood that was used in old train cars or even old houses because it can last long which keeps down the cost of maintenance and reusable.

Develop Solutions

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During my design process I thought of many different designs for my affordable house going from a simple design for an apartment, to a modern twist to community, to my final design that also incorporated a take on modern architecture and that was unique. I had so many different designs because when I was done with one it never was what I really wanted also i went through many types of floor plans but two stood out with my first floor only really being open to friends and family or visitors and my second floor consisting of mostly sleeping quarters. The first floor has one bedroom, the kitchen & dinning room, and living room all with easy access to get from each space comfortably. My second floor consist of three bedrooms, one being the master bedroom and the upstairs bathroom.

Final Design

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My final design for my project did not come to me easily I went through many different designs and layouts also getting feedback, rejecting my designs but in the end it all payed off, with this final design, it fit in great with my vision I had for this competition creating a house that was both affordable & having that sense of community, my final design is exactly what i had in mind

Comments

ashantiGC 3 months ago
Personally, I like how the layout of the house allows for people to interact easily with the open spaces. Another consideration that could possibly help in improving the design may be allocating more space to the first and second bedrooms. Compared to the third bedroom, the first two appear to be shoved to the side just to take up space, along with the bathroom. Though, overall, the concept presented by the house is sound.
Competition Jury 3 months ago
Maya Bird-Murphy - Great renderings! Glad you're thinking about transitional housing. Make sure your research is correct - the Sears Tower is not made of brick. Adam Rosa - Interesting front facade... good design process. Great job on renderings Does this only work on a corner lot? Bedrooms could be bigger, perhaps utilize some of the "open space"