Safe Houses

Judith Kinnard With Tiffany Lin The SunShower SSIP House “uses its roof surfaces to seemingly opposing roles--shielding the occupants from the elements while collecting energy, heat, and water,” the architects say. The two-part roof comprises a large porch roof, tilted to maximize efficiency for solar collection, and a low-slope roof that shelters the house while directing water to a courtyard. Sliding SIP panels open up to extend living space to the outdoors. Windows and doors are positioned for optimal ventilation; free-form apertures in the porch panels provide additional light and breezes.

Judith Kinnard With Tiffany Lin Sliding polycarbonate panels expand the SunShower house's centrally located living room to the rear covered courtyard. Sliding SIPs panels on the opposite side of the room open for cross-ventilation. 

Ammar Eloueini The R-House puts a new twist on the traditional shotgun style, slicing the pitched-roof home into sections that are offset horizontally or vertically, transforming the “row of rooms” feel into a dynamic space with a subtle circulation pattern and new views/access to the outdoors. This flexible design also allows for easy expansion through stacking and stretching.

Bild Design The design features a folded roof plane for optimal solar and water collection. The Scheme E design can be mirrored north and south or east and west depending on the site. The mechanical zone is situated on the upper level, under solar panels and off the ground for easier maintenance. An upper-level terrace, over the lower-level deck, can be made into a roof garden or later enclosed for another room. Shading panels shield the front and rear.

Billes Partners French for “Flow,” the Flux House features simple forms, a compact shape, and open planning that allow for accommodation in various climates and cultures. The roof is optimized for water harvesting and alternative energy systems, while overhangs provide shading. Sliding SIP panels with removable or sliding screen panels allow for ventilation. The house is configured in two components--living spaces and sleeping spaces, which can be stacked or placed adjacent to a central outdoor living area, depending on conditions. Metal panel architecture and cable railings contrast with the softness of wood decking.

Mathes Brierre This home is created with three distinct modules that can be shifted into six different building geometries for flexibility of orientation and differentiation in a neighborhood setting; the roof can be rotated to face south. Loft-level window placement is guided by the tree canopy and provided in full-size templates with the kit; the operable loft windows provide a chimney effect for ventilation. A large roof overhang shades large windows, while there is minimal glazing on the other three facades.

MetroStudio This unit’s gable roof design provides equal solar exposure on both sides to accommodate optimized PV installation without specialized cutting for various orientations, while two front façade options provide flexibility with no change required to the primary design. A flexible, open floor plan allows the space to be used for short-term shelter as well as long-term housing. It includes overhangs to protect outdoor spaces and centrally located HVAC to reduce duct lengths and improve efficiency.

Trapolin-Peer Designed for an urban area, this unit has a long and narrow footprint made up of three modular boxes, two equal-sized modules on each end with living and sleeping areas, plus a central bridge module containing circulation and accessory spaces. Living and sleeping spaces are elevated, with a split-level design that keeps them close yet private. The elevated design improves privacy and protects living spaces from flooding, while also providing a space for vehicle storage underneath. The house’s orientation takes advantage of the Caribbean’s north winds and sunlight while blocking southern sun and heat; an open central staircase helps move breezes through.

Wisznia Architecture Inspired by New Orleans shotgun houses, this duplex (consisting of two kits) is designed for deep and narrow lots that encourage dense, walkable neighborhoods. The Origami Houses boast an overhanging roof in the front and rear for shading while still letting in natural light; steel cable trellises provide additional shading and privacy. Operable windows on upper parts of the second floor combine with an open first-floor plan to aid in ventilation.

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