April 2012, Building Trust launched the HOME competition a project focused on providing residents most at risk in developed cities with a safe place to live. The competition resulted in over 450 registered applicants and proposed projects in over 50 cities from more than 20 countries Worldwide. The Jury was made up of members from the Architecture and Design community alongside humanitarian organisations such as the YMCA, Crash and Habitat for Humanity who unanimously favoured the design from Levitt Bernstein. They liked the projects clever use of space and design through regeneration of existing under utilised garages that are all too common to urban council estates up and down the UK.  We are now working with Levitt Bernstein and other non-governmental organisations to take the project forward into the planning phase. Please keep in touch and we will post regular updates.


Winners of Professional Category
Levitt Bernstein

The scheme uses temporary ‘pop-up’ structures to occupy redundant garages on existing housing estates in East London. HAWSE (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment.) The intention is for the project to be delivered through an apprenticeship scheme with components manufactured off-site as a kit-of parts. The structures are quick to assemble and can be inhabited immediately with the components being demountable and reusable.

Architect Georgie Revell said 

‘The proposal targets under-used spaces in high density areas where land value is high and rising. We believe it offers a creative and practical interim solution between other development opportunities and we’re really excited about the potential to develop the scheme with Building Trust and our partners.’



Honourable mentions.

Eleena Jamil Architects

The residential units from EJ Architects come in 3 variations which can chosen by the occupant depending on their health, mobility and how they want to live.

Type 1 comes with a small covered patio which is suitable for the elderly who prefers to live in an assisted or non-assisted community. This unit can be placed on the roof top deck of an existing housing block, temporary available spaces, or on the grounds of an existing medical facility centre.
Type 2 has allows the attachment of a billboard, electronic screen or other interactive medium.  The occupant will be able to earn some money by allowing advertisers to promote their products or services on his/her living unit. This type will be suitably located along the high street, the waterfront or tourist spots.
Type 3 on the other hand, allows the living unit to perform as a kiosk that gives out tourist information leaflets or sells newspapers, refreshments, fruits etc. These units can be located at the shopping districts, parks, marketplace and tourist spots.  


360 Architects

The simplicity of the form makes the Culvert Residence both durable and adaptable. Over time, vernacular customizations can be added in response to both need and various site constraints. The inhabitants of Culvert Residences have the ability to expand individually or multiply into a community. With this growth comes inherent value and investment in the broader community. Auxiliary rooms, communal spaces, and mechanical retrofits such as photovoltaic arrays, solar hot water heaters, and/or green roofs are all potential options. As culverts are added, the 30K house appreciates to 40K, 50K, 60k and so on.

The cost of the concrete culverts includes shipping, site preparation and installation. The 30K house further reduces cost by eliminating the foundation, wall and floor detail. By removing these trades, it redistributes labor and materials costs to other parts of the project and streamlines the construction process. The resilient exterior and the panelized interior also reduce long-term maintenance costs. Maximizing the site for its prevailing winds and solar orientation, the culverts thick layer of insulation acts to both protect from the elements and create a cool, ventilated living environment.




Insitu Studio

The proposal is to establish a new residential zone that would be allowed in any block that is bisected by an existing or potential alleyway and where lots backing up to the alleyways have a surplus of land to shave away and form new, smaller lots that could front the alleyway. At a minimum of only 800 SF, the new alleyway parcels would be able to accommodate small dwellings and gardens for one or two people that would be integral to a new network of pedestrian alleyways that would complement the existing street grid in downtown. Home owners would benefit from new capital from the homes, the city would benefit from new utility service units evenly dispersed within an existing downtown infrastructure, generating new income with minimal investment in new infrastructure. Finally, the environmental benefits of a more generous pedestrian environment, a more diverse and dense population, and a more concentrated population reliant on alternative transportation systems would positively alter the social landscape of downtown Raleigh.



Groundwork HK

This was one of the most forward thinking ideas and presents a future of elderly travel and nomadic lifestyle. Train carriages become homes and allow residents to continue life's journey (literally) across China from Hong Kong. The jury loved the graphic representations and the submission is certainly worth a look. The team had this to say:

"We do wish to realize the project, so that we may allow the elderly in Hong Kong to pursue their dreams ...on the behalf of our Hong Kong base studio, Groundwork Architecture + Urbanism, thank you! We will continue to dedicate ourselves for the betterment of our living environment."





Urban Home Indy

Brian Butch the designer of this rubber clad house in Indianapolis says the following about the project:

"The post-industrial city is littered with vacant property and a resultant lack of density. INSURGENT looks to exploit these existing conditions, taking refuge in the neglected, and often overlooked, spaces within the urban context.  Instead of occupying the street front, INSURGENT rebels against the existing romantic notion of rebuilding the city as it was.  INSURGENT turns to the alley condition and seeks to redefine it, creating a new streetscape along a previously unconsidered and undesirable zone, turning the back into a new front. The alley becomes a new address, not defined by the oversized scale of the auto-centric city but instead one that works with the scale of the pedestrian, the human scale."




Hugh Holder Architects

The project in Barbados makes use of lightweight materials and keeps ventilation as one of the key determining factors in the design. Designer Hugh Holder says

"I am elated to have received an Honourable mention and I feel privileged to have been part of this competition.  I thank the Building Trust International and its judges for the confidence they have placed in my proposal and I look forward to more opportunities to be involved with the work of your organisation in the




Mulloway Studio

Australia currently has the largest average floor area for new freestanding homes in the World (243sqm). For many people living in urban centers around the world, a smaller home is the norm. Smaller spaces can bring new opportunities. Reducing the average size of new constructions can promote housing choice and diverse communities. Increasing the urban density by constructing smaller homes can reduce pressure on land, transport, water and energy, while lowering costs for individuals. This can create a demand for more investment in public spaces and better urban environments, creating stronger communities.

The Adelaide City Council’s (ACC) current Strategic Plan presents residential population growth as its key strategic outcome, with a goal of adding 1,300 residents each year. The Council identifies its greatest barrier for achieving this goal is challenging Australian residential housing stereotypes. There is a need to increase the available range of housing types and sizes to accommodate social, financial, age and occupancy diversity. The ACC has a vision for the inner city as a dynamic space, and has been taking action on Integrated Design Strategies that activate and enliven the city. By reclaiming underutilised car-parking and street settings as places that encourage social interaction, PARK(ed) is an incentive that can be capitalised on for Youth ‘at risk’ housing solutions.



Adriano Pupilli Architects

Single person households are rising across de-industrialised cities. The elderly, tertiary students, low paid service workers and the homeless are some of the people who are struggling to find solutions from mainstream housing providers. IMBY proposes a community-led urban densification process, where the city’s most vulnerable citizens can be integrated and supported within existing urban neighbourhoods.

IMBY (In My Back Yard) proposes a system of prefabricated flat-pack living pavilions that ‘camp’ on vacant urban land. The mobile nature of these pavilions means that they can be re-located to other sites in response to the ebb and flow of affordable housing demand. IMBY is designed to fit into either ‘Exempt’ or ‘Complying’ Local and State development controls, empowering householders to shape and enrich their neighbourhoods with activities that extend beyond domestic life.  Most importantly IMBY provides a low-tech and incremental solution for integrating the most vulnerable of society into the larger community.

To see more professional entries please 'click here'




Winner of Student Category

Elena Ardighieri, Aalborg University, Denmark

Elena's project focused on the breakdown of families into smaller nuclei and changes in the patterns of employment on the generation z. A smaller, more connected World has led to people traveling more and employment being temporary and contract driven, leading to a greater ebb and flow of people from and to different urban centers. Elena proposes an architectural landscape that responds to this.

"…architecture, a new typology of living in a society in times where everything is speeded up, where young are looking for jobs and need temporary homes. It perfectly suits the theme of "Home" for the new generation, both in the program and in the design."




Honourable mentions

Colin & Martn Baillie, Dundee University, Scotland.

"Our proposal attempted to explore the wider social and cultural roots of urban issues such as homelessness and mass single occupancy. While proposing solutions to these problems, our design recognises the importance of promoting social integration, developing appropriate scales of community and connecting people and place. How the design proposal will be inhabited and the potential positive influence the scheme may exert on its occupiers were as important to our consideration as the vernacular form and sustainable material choices."

This project was highlighted by the judges for its simple, sensitive approach to housing in an industrial backdrop. The use of material and form reminiscent of warehousing reinforces local character while also adding new dynamism to the area and regenerating disused abandoned lots within the city of Dundee.




Eleni Papaioannou & Amalia Skamagkouli, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.

The proposal from Eleni & Amalia made use of the empty roof space of Athens. Creating a lightweight structure that could sit atop the vacant rooftops tapping into existing cores. The idea is backed up with the inclusion of a social strategy that is targeted at the elderly and the internal layout and design makes use of an open plan space with occluded corners to create a clever division of space.

The Team said;

"Joining the Building Trust International HOME competition was really constructive for us and at the same time challenging, as vulnerable social groups were targeted and consequently, a high quality but low-cost home had to be designed. Such initiatives should be taken more often in the world of crisis we live in."




Ponto 4 atelier, FAULP Porto, Portugal.

In a similar project to one of the professional entries this design makes use of storm drain culverts. The design cleverly transforms the concrete tube into a habitable space for one. The team said the following about the competition and their project.

"We find these kind of competitions very important in the awareness of today society´s weaknesses. Therefore we would like to congratulate the organization, as well as all the participants for the large attendance. Our participation in this contest proved to be very rewarding for our development as architects and also as social conscious citizens."






Dae-uk, Tae Hyung, Jin Young, Su Jin & HwaYoung, S. Korea

In a shift from other projects that focused on the elderly and homeless this project focused on foreign migrant workers and reused old American army bases in a bold move to regenerate an area and provide integral housing to a new resident within Korea. The team showed a great understanding of environmental and social factors that influenced the end design.

 "It was a very great opportunity for us that we might consider society, people and the growing need for single households."





For a complete list of student shortlisted entries please Click here

20k house

Winning entries and Honourable mentions from the professional and Student categories levitt bernstien

PDF submission 'here'


Eleena Jamil

PDF submission here

360 architects

PDF submission 'here'



insitu studio

PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'

hugh holder

PDF submission 'here'

PDF submission 'here'

PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'



PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'


PDF submission 'here'