2016 Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena has made four of his much-celebrated social housing designs open source and free to download.
Aravena, who is also the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale creative director, has given the public domain free access to the lot layouts and divisions, plans, sections and elevations of four of his public housing designs to help counter the global housing shortage in a humane way.
The designs, says Aravena, provide a diagram for the kind of low-rise high density development needed to counter the shortage in a way that won’t force those from low socio-economic classes into poor quality buildings in the peripheries of cities. Integral to this goal, and prevalent in all four of his free designs, is the notion of Incrementality, whereby building structures are designed for expansion and growth. The ideas here is that inhabitants are encouraged to stay and improve their home as they increase their wealth rather than move to a community that has been designed to suit it.
Download the designs or see below for more info on buildings:
From the architect:
93 INCREMENTAL HOUSES COMPLEX The challenge of our first project was to accommodate a hundred families using a subsidy of $7,500 dollars that in the best of the cases allowed for thirty-six square meters of built space in a 5,000 square meter site, which cost three times what social housing could normally afford. None of the solutions in the market solved the equation. So we thought of a typology that, as buildings, could make a very efficient use of land and as houses allowed for expansion. After a year, each property value was beyond $20,000 dollars. Still, all the families have preferred to stay and keep on improving their homes, instead of selling them.
From the architect
50 HOUSING + COMMUNITY CENTER The Barnechea’s housing project is located in one of the most expensive districts of Santiago. We designed, with very low budget subsidies, to allow the families to keep on benefiting from the proximity to jobs, education, transportation, health facilities and even recreation and quality public space. The houses are arranged around a collective courtyard, a territorial level of association that is somewhere in between private and public space, which is crucial in fragile social environments. In addition, the houses allow incremental interior growth: with one bedroom (plus a temporary bedroom) on the first floor, they can grow into a house with a living-dining room on first floor, two bedrooms and bathroom on second floor and a master bedroom on third floor.
From the architect:
70 INCREMENTAL HOUSING UNITS In the Mexican housing market, the cheapest offered solution costs is about $30,000 dollars. Poor people do not have access these solutions. We developed an improved a version of the Iquique’s Quinta Monroy project, where the houses underneath and the duplex apartments on top have an initial cost of $20,000 dollars, but can achieve a middle-income standard after the self-built expansions. The efficiency in land use without overcrowding, allowed us to purchase land in a neighborhood where the average cost is $50,000 dollars. We expect the families to benefit from that value gain and from the fact that the land’s cost expresses close availability of services and opportunities.
From the architect
484 INCREMENTAL HOUSES
Arauco Forest Company asked us to develop a plan to support their employees and contractors so they could have access to home ownership, in the context of Chilean housing policies. This allowed us to work for the first time with the high end of housing policy. Given the greater availability of resources, instead of taking one of our cheaper housing units and delivering it more finished, we applied again the same principle of incrementality, but with an initial and final growth scenario of higher standard: from 57 m² (initial area of each unit), they can grow up to 85 m².