Whittled down from 400 entries to a shortlist of 15, Jasmax are the only New Zealand designers to make the cut.
Facing stiff competition from designs from around the world, there are nine countries in the shortlist, including the UK, Poland, Argentina and the USA. The contest asked entrants to consider the challenges that will face cities over the next 100 years, and how to overcome them to build a brighter urban future with the maxim, ‘big life with a smaller footprint.’
Called ‘Dwelly’ the Wellington Jasmax team worked with engineering support from Beca to design a 3D printed, prefab modular system, which can be used to create homes in leftover urban spaces, in between, on top of, or even on the side of existing buildings. Homes are built by stacking different units on top of each other and are designed to be quick to build and dismantle.
Evelyn Axten, Senior Architect at Jasmax and part of the design team says, “All of us who worked on the design are Wellingtonians. We love our city, and as anyone who knows the city will know, we live in a place with staggering hill, strong winds, and on a high seismic region along a major fault line. In the next 100 years we are predicted to face increasing extreme weather events, as well as the sea level rising.
“We decided to try and solve a design challenge that we see in our city, in other cities around New Zealand and even the world, where earthquakes and extreme storms are increasingly predicted. Our design asks the question, what if we could design a housing solution that would stand up to earthquakes, extreme weather, give us views in this stunning city, let us live in the heart of the urban space we love, and occupy the spaces no one else would occupy?”
As a result, Dwelly is designed to be adaptable, flexible and easily relocatable. It is as a simple catalogue of options and parts, which can be 3D printed as and when needed. The home is designed to be fixed into any terrain with screw piles which also act as silts, lifting the home above ground to avoid flooding conditions. Diagonal bracing members also help to resist seismic and turbulent wind loads.
With flexibility at its core, in a major natural disaster, the Dwelly home can easily be dismantled, parts salvaged, reconfigured and relocated to a more suitable site.
Axten says, “After a major event, it could be the difference between being able to remain in your house or having to move into temporary accommodation during repairs or a rebuild. Imagine how much more resilient that would make our communities.”
The design team have prototyped the design in three very different areas in Wellington – slipped between office buildings on Lambton Quay, in a hairpin bend in a road at Oriental Bay which offers amazing views, and on an ‘urban cliff’ in Boulcott St.
Jasmax is committed to helping solve the housing crisis by delivering affordable and innovative solutions that deliver good quality outcomes for people not just for now, but for the future.
The winner of the Dezeen and Mini Living Future Urban Home Competition will be announced 17 January 2019.