Winners of International Design Competition LIVINGBOX have been announced. It has been the first world design contest for prefabricated housing unit projects. Ex-Aequo first prize winners are the German Architekturbüro [lu:p]
and the Italian Alessandro Baldo; third prize winner is the Korean designer Minsung Kim. An unprecedented success for a Design Competition entirely organised on the web: 2.500 registered challengers from the whole world and over 1.000 projects taking parts to final selections with an overall number of 65 different nations represented.
Topic of Competition
The design contest has got started in may 2005 on web pages of www.edilportale.com, the Italian Vortal for Construction. It has faced the theme of prefabricated housing unit, a "box-house" that can be lived as a temporary or stable home that had to be able to combine architecture and design in a limited but painstaking functional space. The typological solution available to challengers were two: in the former (Living unit as preassembled block/blocks) the unit is made by preassembled block/blocks whose dimensions allow transport on roads, rails or by air. Dimensions can be related (but it's not compulsory) to standard dimensions of containers for commercial transportations that automatically comply with transportability problems and don't need special vehicles; in the latter (Living unit as assemblage of light prefabricated small elements), unit is made by technological systems relying on small prefabricated elements that can be assembled on site according to the need for special dimensions of living units (when such dimensions don't allow transportation with common vehicles) or when structural conception of technological system doesn't allow handling of preassembled blocks (usually when system doesn't provide for a self-foundation basement) In both cases, modular unit could be proposed as a single or aggregate example; as a sort of "Living Box Village" that could be useful to homogeneous lifestyles (i.e. housing for students).
An Unprecedented Success
An astonishing success for a Design competition organised by Italy the contest has registered over 2.500 challengers from more than 65 countries. More than 1.000 were the projects that accordino to competition announcement's requirements could compete to final selections. All stages of the challenge, from registration to submission of projects, up to final jury examination and assessment, have been done on Internet by mean of an appropriate web platform created on edilportale.com thus providing the necessary forum and meeting point for such a large number of ideas coming from every corner of the world.
First prize ex-aequo
"Living Box" - by Reneè Lorenz, Architekturbüro [lu:p]
"Mokka" - by Alessandro Baldo - (Italy)
"The Hive" - by Minsung Kim (Korea)
A series of independent assessment allowed the jury to evacuate every project according to a determinate matrix of parameters. Winners have then showed to be able to comply with an excellent architectural quality, functionality of internal spaces, living comfort, structural suitability, industrial feasibility of the solution, transportability, modularity, sustainability and recycling of used materials. At the end of evaluation of the over 1.000 projects -whose scores have been registered through web sessions in real time by juryman in Europe, Asia and America- the jury has agreed an ex-aequo victory.
The former ex-aequo winner is the German Architekturbüro [lu:p]
made of six designers leaded by Reneè Lorenz. Their "Living Box" project has the merit of emphasize at best the pre-assembled small elements typology, imaging the living unit as a union of plastic sectional elements side-by-side. All these elements are exactly the same in their profile but each of them contains a different functional module (Kitchen, services, bed, etc.). Simplicity and linearity, maximum flexibility in permutation of assembled modules (almost endless), combined with ease of production and transportation have been assessed as the points of strength of the winning project.
The latter ex-aequo winner is the "Mokka" project by Italian young designer Alessandro Baldo. According to the jury he has extremely well expressed the "Unique block" Living box typology. Letting formal language being as simple as possible, Baldo has designed the "Container" object as a module with central segment of longitudinal walls that is rotated outside of the box. Such rotations contribute to enlarge the central "living" space of the container thus opening it to lateral lights and creating two blind edges of the block that can be used as technical and services spaces of bathroom and kitchen.
The third place goes to Korean designer Minsung Kim, with a proposal that exploits aggregation of living modules at their best. With "The Hive" Kim designs a simple unit model, based on a single open space with glazed longitudinal walls and opaque transversal surfaces that separate different functional areas. The front view with its hexagonal shape and a light arched disposition on plan let the assembling of multi-floor modules be very interesting both for a linear and a circular development
Beside these three winning projects, 12 designers have got a special mention for the originality of their proposal and 38 other designers have got a mention for the merits of their solutions.
As they have been able to meet the aims of the contest by complying to the theme of modular housing unit both in terms of living comfort and in terms of harmony between architecture and design of small spaces, the jury has awarded a special mention for following 12 designers:
Marc gaudreau - GBN architecture (Canada), Zenkov Oleg (Russia), Eugene Cheah + Celine Lim (Australia), Balint Kadar - Memo (Hungary), Roberto Bologna - Gruppo TAU - (Italy), Francisco Vidal - B+V (Argentina), Baires Raffaelli - BrrE architects - (Italy), Giuseppe Mecca - (Italy), Kizis Costandis - Puzzle (Greece), Stefan Consoir - SALC (Deutschland), Aleksander Oniszh - SLOG (Polland), Jose Luis Lorenzo Alzola Arquitecto (Spain)
For the originality and accuracy of details of projected solution following 38 designers have been awarded for a mention:
Dong Joon Lee - Stocker Lee Architetti (Switzerland), Mark Ashby (Canada), Andreas Wenning - Baumraum (Deutschland), Riccardo Pavone, Luca Sallustio - "AUS_INVADERS" - (Italy), Matteo Pastega (Italy), Toshiya Kogawa - KAAD (United Kingdom), Luca Pastorini - Benatti+Pastorini architetti (Italy), Metrocúbico - Taller de arquitectura (Argentina), Ambra Zotti - SUPER FLASH (Italy), Paolo Brunelli - 2PV (Italy), Marzio Clementi - MRT arquitectes (Spain), Filippo Petrucci (Italy), Yaroslav Usov Architect (Russia), Gonzalo Moreno de la Fuente - Frogstudio (Argentina), Robert Watson - Watson architecture + design (Australia), Michele Rossa - P+R STUDIO (Italy), Paolo Leoni - arch|Teck (Italy), Vladan Nikolic - V&O Arch (Yugoslavia), Alessandro Maiolatesi - cap03 (Italy), Marcus Martinez - RiOT Collaborative Studio (United States), Jan Domin - pilot 21 (Deutschland), Marina Obvintseva Architect (Russia), Edgar Alvarez (Mexico), Kliment Ivanov (Bulgaria), Marco Colombo (Italy), Vladimir Garanin (Russia), Eddy Antonello - Joevelluto associati (Italy), Ryan Meador - PRAXiS (United States), Andrea Kopár (Hungary), Camilo Cerro (United States), Apostolos Tsivolas, Architect (Greece), Johannes Stüler Stühaus (Deutschland), Simone Lorenzoni - Cavallo_lorenzoni_paris_design (Italy), Alex Schulz - SG Space Concepts (Deutschland), Zhu Yunwei - SAUHAUB DESIGN (China), Luke Petty LJGK (United Kingdom), Hermann Nussdorfer - Zwischenraum (Austria) , Yigit Ozer - Group BOSPHORUS MEMBERS (Turkey)
The numbers of Living Box Design Competition
2.570 participant designer
1.048 submitted projects
6.806 Uploaded drawings
12 gigabytes of file transmitted via-internet
65 represented countries
500.000 visitors of http://www.livingbox.it website in a year
International design competition "Living Box: housing unit of the future" is organised by www.edilportale.com the italian Internet Portal for Construction and Architecture with support of Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti, del Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingegneri, del BEST - Politecnico di Milano and in collaboration with Rockwool, Ursa Italia - Uralita Group, Sebach, Aermec, Europa Metalli Corimec and Acca Software.
www.edilportale.com is the Italian Internet Portal for Architects, building engineers and construction companies. It is the major Italian mass-media for information about Architecture, Building and Construction with over 70.000 daily unique visitors and more than 7.500.000 page views in a month. Among its free information services: daily real-time news, interactive directories of products, companies and professionals, databases on regulations, tendering, design competitions, price lists, projects.