This week the non-profit rise International (Relationships Inspiring Social Enterprise) announced its winner of the international architecture competition which focuses on affordable housing projects. During the 2018-2019 competition, designers were challenged to design high-quality, sustainable, and energy-efficient homes for Maseru, a capitol of of Lesotho in South Africa. The competition’s concept site is known for their cold winters and hot summers. According to the design brief the city of Maseru was split into 100 virtual blocks that were assigned to the competition applicants. Each applicant was provided a sponsor and a mentor from well known architecture firms to provide support. One last requirement was that each design would allow for the home to be scalable, meaning one family living within the home could incrementally add extensions or the home could be replicated as a larger building.
Winning Design: “Creating Spaces” by Tanmoy Dey
Dey is a graduate of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology in Bangladesh. His project focused on merging resources native to the area, cultural representation, a human centered design approach and an emphasis on energy and cost efficiency. According the jurors, “The ingenuity of Tanmoy Dey’s winning scheme is encapsulated in the simplicity of the plan, and the ability of the house to incrementally expand vertically. The building can evolve into a more urban and dense environment with a good public street presence and an interior with enhanced privacy.”
Upon learning of his win Dey expressed gratitude for being chosen. “Our concept is to involve the users – the Lesotho people, and to prioritize their necessities and lifestyles to ‘create spaces’ for them rather than ‘design’ a residence. Our prototype can be adjusted to meet various requirements – small to large households, owner or tenant, and even allow for future extensions. Courtyards and green spaces will encourage community activities. Using local materials ensures easy construction within a limited budget.” Dey was provided mentorship by Samuel Herpin of RHH Architects and sponsored by Revel Partners.