The Varia Home
Inspiring young architects Andy Drissell and Kyle Moller have designed the Varia Home for the needs of Habitat for Humanity in San Francisco.
The team describes the Varia Home as “not a singular solution but a ‘kit of parts’ from which a multiplicity of homes can be derived and designed from. Through creating a library of room components based on a 4’ building module, there is abundant potential to suit unique design constraints and factors.”
Beyond strong environmental credentials and aesthetic design, the proposal squarely tackles the common ultimatum of housing affordability and cookie cutter housing. The Varia Home takes advantage of the same economies of scale that classic Levittown-style housing production have used for decades, while simultaneously offering homes custom-tailored to the needs of families.
This, I strongly feel, is the future of architecture. Democratic architecture. This is design that design needs to be in the 21st century-innovative solutions to social, environmental, and economic challenges. Housing affordability has become a particularly acute challenge as the costs of living in our communities has steadily outstripped the means many citizens have to meet them.
Let’s have more of this, shall we?
The proposal is a response to the “Home For Humanity Design Contest”, outlined below.
You have the opportunity to design an innovative home for a family of 3-5 that incorporates the essence of a Habitat Greater San Francisco home: safe, decent, and affordable.
What is important in a Habitat home? (in order of preference)
- The functional layout for a dynamic family
- The cost to build
- The ease for volunteers to build
- The aesthetics
Hints to help you create your designs include the following:
- We are looking for plans for a single family home or a unit in a multi-family dwelling.
- The houses/multi-family dwellings are safe and affordable to build by volunteers. 90% of our new construction homes are built by volunteers.
- The designs should be replicable. Your ideas help us achieve our goal of 400 homes by 2020. We are looking for ways to design new, dynamic, and innovative living spaces that our volunteers can mold and rebuild in an urban environment.
- The plans should fit 600-900 square feet.
- The plans should fit a family of 3-5 in size.
- The designs should have a functional layout for a dynamic family.
- The homes may be condos or single family homes, slab on grade on a 2,500 square foot lot.
- Incorporate Green construction practices (such as LEED™ Silver at the minimum)
Please vote for Andy & Kyle’s submission here.