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AR House 2018 winners revealed

Ar house winners 2018 zav schemata vo trong nghia architectural review

Out of the sixteen homes shortlisted by the judging panel, six made it to the final round and were visited by independent critics before the judging panel decided on a winner

Set in the foothills of the Zagros mountains, the Habitat for Orphan Girls was chosen as the overall winner of this year’s AR House awards by judges Amin Taha, Marie-José Van Hee and Mathias Klotz. By giving vulnerable children a safe and culturally sensitive environment, ZAV Architects present new and alternative forms of domesticity in Iran.

‘It is an atypical project that has no ambitions in the architectural sense of monumentality. The expression of the “inner” quality, however, is monumental – and also brave’ said Van Hee.

Habitat orphan girls iran zav architects ar house

Winner: Habitat for Orphan Girls in Khansar, Iran by ZAV Architects

AR House 2018 results

Winner: Habitat for Orphan Girls in Khansar by ZAV Architects
Highly Commended: house in Nobeoka by Schemata Architects
Highly Commended: Binh House in Ho Chi Minh City by Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Commended:  Casa Bruma in Valle de Bravo by Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez
Commended: Casa IV in Elche by Mesura
Commended: Kokoon by Helsinki’s Aalto University Wood Programme

The exterior of Schemata Architects’ house in Nobeoka is non-descript, blending seamlessly in the street, but the interior is curious and unexpected, with 60% of the floor area devoid of furniture or immediately obvious function: the family’s residence is on the upper floor, while the steel-framed warehouse and empty multi-purpose space on the ground floor lend themselves to a wide range of activities.

The judges highlighted the project’s contribution to more sustainable forms of architecture, giving new life to a structure perceived as value-less and anticipating future uses.

House ar nobeoka schemata architects japan takumi ota

Source: Takumi Ota

Highly commended: house in Nobeoka, Japan by Schemata Architects

As a new addition to the House for Trees series, Vo Trong Nghia Architect’s Binh house in Ho Chi Minh City is their latest radical integration of greenery into architecture. Responding to the bland concrete behemoths developed in the region over recent decades, the playful section of Binh House reveals a complex arrangement of floating rooms, protruding planes, interstitial airspace and lush planted terraces.

‘Reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan, Binh House serves as an inspiring experiment to predict a model for the subtropical, intergenerational and high-density suburban villa-cum-townhouse’ said Amin Taha.

Binh house vo trong nghia vietnam ar house

Binh House in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Another project that embraces and nurtures nature is the commended Casa Bruma in Valle de Bravo by Mexico City-based Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez, a sensitive project that seems to openly embrace contingency and interminable transformation.

Here, the architects have shaped an outside room by nestling pavilions around a courtyard, just like an old settlement in a forest clearing. According to the judging panel, Casa Bruma is ‘contextual architecture at its best’.

Casa bruma fernanda canales claudia rodriguez ar house mexico rafael gamo

Source: Rafael Gamo

Casa Bruma in Valle de Bravo, Mexico by Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez

Another commended holiday home is the Casa IV extension to a house in Elche, Spain by young Barcelona-based practice Mesura, a vaulted rectilinear volume strategically laid out in relation to climate and orientation.

The judges felt the extension demonstrated an uncompromising and beautiful unity of structure and aesthetic composition: by adding just two rooms, Mesura successfully transformed the original villa.

Casa iv mesura ar house pedro pegenaute

Source: Pedro Pegenaute

Casa IV extension in Elche, Spain by Mesura

The last commended project from the shortlist is Aalto University Wood program’s Kokoon, a modular, portable and temporary housing system made of stackable units providing living space for up to three months, suggesting new possibilities for superior forms of emergency shelter. 

‘By taking charge of a global problem in a sustainable, flexible manner with limited impact, the project tackles both social and environmental issues. This way of restoring the urban fabric is a good example for young architects, especially in poor urban contexts’ said Klotz.

Kokoon helsinki ar house tuomas uusheimo

Source: Tuomas Uusheimo

Kokoon temporary housing prototype by Helsinki’s Aalto University Wood Program

All the projects are featured in the AR’s July/August 2018 edition – you can get a copy here – while the full shortlist, comprising of a further 10 projects, is available here.