d3 Housing of Tomorrow Competition-Winning Entry by Boulos Douaihy

Type: Competition
Architect: Boulos Douaihy

Our project addresses through housing the relationship between individualism as a dominant culture and the existing communal reality and richness of societies; in our case third world societies around the Mediterranean. On another level, the project addresses the endless and chaotic urban sprawl of housing and its problematic relationship with -what use to be- nature.

We propose an old-new, alternative way of living, a rebirth of local communities where People would simply “grow” a habitat on a certain land or in communal gathering.
The unit
The unit is a vertical structure sticking out from the ground, rooted in and opening to its garden space that acts like a natural extension of the house. The back of the unit is a thick closed envelope (except for entrance and ventilation openings). This envelope works as a thermal mass, rain collector and sun harvesting surface. The “personal” garden is a cavity-like space that fulfills the house’s needs of organic planting and romantic daydreams. Underneath it, a geothermal system helps cooling and heating the house.
The units – alone - favor individualistic living: opening to their own “natural” space horizontally and extending vertically to more personal spaces connected visually and “digitally” with the rest of the world.
The community
The units become part of a system that will guide housing development based on the natural growth of the community and not on the real-estate conditions and developer’s will.
This system proposes a “naturalistic” family (or community) growth through housing extension: the children would duplicate the “original” house and start a familial community. More children and great-children would continue this “communal gathering”, creating a public courtyard linking the houses together and becoming a space for public activities.
As time passes, these communities will transform, develop, adapt to new situations while keeping the memory of the place and actively taking part of the creation of the communal space as the residue of their individual houses.
The organic sprawl
These communities will grow on a virgin land or in the vicinity of a city. With a minor urban footprint, they will be linked through a simple road network at their centers, leaving the remaining land to its natural state, thus accentuating the difference between the artificial and the natural.
Boulos Douaihy acquired a "Higher studies diploma in architecture” from the Lebanese University in 2004 and a "Master in "Environment et aménagement du territoire" from the Saint Joseph University in 2006. He lives and works in Lebanon, has practiced architecture for 7 years with several architects and participated in architecture competitions and worked on several architecture projects.

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