Register: OCT/31/2018, Submit: NOV/03/2018, Eligibility: Architecture students, young architects – less than 3 years after graduation; individually, (multidisciplinary) teams (architect, engineer, landscaper, etc.), Fee: 60 EUR (AUG/15 – SEP/30/2018), 80 EUR (OCT/01 – OCT/15/2018), 100 EUR (OCT/16 – OCT/31/2018), Awards: 1st Prize 1,500 EUR + construction, 2nd Prize 1,000 EUR, 3rd Prize 500 EUR, 10 Honorable Mentions; + all rewarded: publication ARCHsharing
Paraguay is a country located in the heart of South America, surrounded by three countries: Argentina to the South West, Bolivia to the North and Brazil towards the East. Its territory is subdivided into 17 departments. Its capital city is Asunción. It is the fifth smallest and fourth least populous country in South America, with a total population of 8 million. About 95% of Paraguayans are of mixed ancestry (Spanish and indigenous) and the remaining 5% are descendants of European immigrants. Paraguay is a bilingual country, where Spanish and Guaraní are spoken but the predominant language is Jopara, which is a fusion of Spanish and Guarani.
Its economy is essentially dependent on agriculture (the world’s fourth largest exporter of soybeans and oilseeds) and cattle (the sixth largest exporter in the world). With exports reaching the entire world, its economy has grown steadily over the last 10 years. This growth came with an unfair reality: 10% of the population owns nearly 90% of agricultural land, a situation which results in a marked social inequality and a notorious lack of opportunities for the rest of the population.
Despite all the growth of recent years, Paraguay is ranked among the poorest countries in the Americas, with more than 20% of its population below the poverty line. Lack of access to housing and public services such as health, education and food reflects this extreme poverty. Faced with this situation, TECHO Paraguay is mobilized to work with people living in informal settlements, where inequality and violation of rights is at its maximum. Their action is focused on community development, such as the construction of emergency housing. TECHO works with families in precarious situations on the construction of habitation units to respond to this urgent situation. This work is accompanied by a social approach that involves residents and young university volunteers in the process of building their community, encouraging participation, organization, identity and communication with other institutions to defend and claim their rights.
In this context, ARCHsharing offers, in partnership with the humanitarian association TECHO Paraguay, the construction of a prototype emergency housing. The aim is to offer residents a building that responds to the emergency situation while guaranteeing their dignity and their right to a suitable home. This housing unit will have to adapt to different uses through ingenious and relevant architectural devices. Simplicity and efficiency should be the watchword, housing should be built in just a few days, with an inexperienced workforce. Particular attention should be paid to its modularity, its ability to expand according to the means, needs and possibilities. The proposals will have to take into account the particular context of Paraguay while keeping some freedom in the design of the building.
The laureate will have the chance to build his/her project with the humanitarian association TECHO Paraguay.
A prototype to set an example
The theme of the competition is the construction of an emergency housing for 5 people. The prototype will be built by TECHO after the competition. The winner will have the opportunity to go to Paraguay to collaborate on the construction. This prototype will enable TECHO to test its efficiency in order to develop it and build it in larger quantities to help families access quality housing.
Housing will facilitate future expansions or additions. This house will be a response to urgent needs, but it may become a more generous home with time and resources of families.
Involvement of future inhabitants
The realization of the project must take into account the future occupants. Construction will be done in a process that includes families and residents. This initiative is part of TECHO’s action to involve resident families and young university students in social action.
Innovative, Standing out, Aiming further
This is the number one criterion because it is the reason for this contest. TECHO Paraguay has joined this contest precisely to receive new ideas, to see projects that are different from what already exists, to find the right solutions granting a family a more efficient and better housing.
Modular and progressive growth capacity
The housing is a prototype that will have to be flexible and adaptable because it will be reproduced in different places. Therefore its modularity is an important point to facilitate the appropriation and the adaptation according to the needs of the family. It will be necessary to think of a system that facilitates its expansion, so that it is not a precarious transitional shelter, but a home that can become more spacious and comfortable over time.
Fast, Easy, Efficient construction
Fast, easy and efficient so that the project can be implemented in the shortest time and families can participate in the construction process. The housing unit must be buildable by 5 to 10 volunteers without specific technical knowledge in two days maximum. The construction time must be optimized and logistical difficulties removed. The assembly and the manufacturing process must be easy. The parts must be able to be transported in small trucks in order to be delivered to places that are not easily accessible.
A bio-climatic approach is expected to offer the family a pleasant atmosphere and sustainable housing. For a good thermal comfort, particular care will have to be devoted to thermal insulation, waterproofness and heating & ventilation system. Topics such as water harvesting, resource management will also need to be addressed.
The living cell
The accommodation must be 18 m2 minimum, and must be composed of at least one module. The accommodation should be suitable for a amily of 5 people. The cost will have to be minimized as much as possible. Currently TECHO is building its emergency housing between 800 and 1000 USD.
The prototype is intended to be installed in different informal neighborhoods in different communities, it is important that it can adapt to any type of terrain. That’s why we do not provide a typical site. The flexibility of the building toward its land is an important element of the contest.