Off the Grid Design Competition
– Result Announced!

30.08.2022, Tue

off-the-result-result

©Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris

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“Off the grid – 2022” is an international design competition organized by archiol – artuminate. This competition mainly aimed to explore the ideas of a home that can fit within the limited space, mainly focusing on sustainability. This competition received a total of 189 entries from around the world and archiol – artuminate is proud to announce the final winners of this competition.


The jury members of the competition are as follows:

  • Lawrence Daykin

  • Kathryn Rogers Merlino

Scroll down to check out the winners.


Top 3

  1. Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris(France)

  2. Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis (Canada)

  3. Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)

Honorable Mentions

  • Hsiang Ting  Huang (United States)

  • Aparupa Saha, Kirti Dvivedi (India)

  • Aditi Raj, Tapan Kumar Sabar, Sparsh Ruhela (India)

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First Prize winner:

Tiny Nest

Design by: Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris(France)


WHAT DOES THE SPACE NEEDS TO BE

We started the project’s design by defining what is a dream home, and what was essential to include in this off-the-grid tiny house.

Our purpose is to offer a real tiny-home alternative, oppositely to the movement of movable home that are currently on the market: down-sized and classier bungalow, providing you with «everything you need and ever wanted», without questioning the real purpose of designing smaller spaces. Our idea is to leave aside the unnecessary space that every nowadays home includes and go towards a «happy frugality»

This frugality is the main concept which accompanied us throughout our designing process. Learning about our own experiences, we deconstructed the idea of comfort: what do we really need to happily inhabit a place? The basic human needs (to sleep, be clean, be warm and eat) obviously have to be included, as well as several other concepts we think are the core of a home:

Being able to welcome others, to stay discreet, being surrounded by nature and getting enriched by it. The link to the outdoor is essential, as the building in itself contains only the basic functions we decided for. Retrieving the freedom of movement is the aspect of comfort that we wanted to emphasize.


HOW AND WHERE TO BUILD IT

Our first idea was to be completely surrounded by nature, to inhabit the wilderness. Nevertheless, this strategy, when examined through the prism of frugality, sustainability and respect of other living beings, is not consistent. The idea of installing the structure in unspoilt nature is at first extremely tempting. However, it can’t be a viable design direction as, by building this way, we steal other creatures from a part of their common good. Moreover, the purpose of our design is to last and be adaptable at a reasonable economic and material cost; this includes to be protected from the strength of natural elements. Sustainability called for us to reuse what already existed and to valorize our patrimony.

Ruins revealed themselves as the ideal context, allowing us to develop our design within the already existing layout of a building. This marker of time and heritage tells a story that was interrupted, that we have decided to continue here.

The intervention slips between the ruins of this first stone structure. The wood, marker of the new time, slowly takes place and, in a game of thickness and opacity, heads towards the sky, reaching for the view of the surrounding scenery. The gesture is situated between a desire to rely on what already exists and to respect the enclosure of the ruin, sometimes merging, sometimes taking distance from it. The ruin embraces the structure tightly but flexibly, allowing it to breathe and have support at the same time. The distancing with the stone wall facing the landscape highlights the ruin, giving it a conservatory character and a sentimental dimension. This primary structure is the first layer of the project. They are both interdependent, one being the first rampart against the wind, rain and sun, the other instilling life in the abandoned place. The new wooden structure reveals framings on the landscape, staging and play of movements between various shots.

As our theoretical design was taking shape, we had to precise the building and functional systems that we wanted to implement in it. For us, sustainability goes along with the potential deconstructiveness of our building. Wood is the main material used in our design : its sustainable qualities as well as the great modularity and up-cycling potential make it the perfect material for our purpose. Within this structure, waterproof canvas, filled with sheep wool for insulation, construct a double-layered cocoon, connected to nature via several openings. The first layer cover the whole wooden structure, composing both the roof and walls: it allows harvesting great quantities of rainwater, thus going towards a complete self-sufficiency. The second layer is local and creates the intimacy necessary for inner spaces.

We composed a building which functions completely with its surroundings: the building is widely open and face the adjoining space as well as the further landscape. This openness is balanced by the intertwining of the structure and the translucent veil which protect its inhabitant from outside glances. Protected between the stone wall and the wooden structure, two more veils host the dry toilets and the shower, which used water are treated by phytopurification in the garden. At the very top part of the construction, a perch takes place and invite the inhabitant to meditate while being propelled into the landscape view.

As we expressed, the idea of comfort and how to define it was an important challenge. What is the comfort of a down-sized house, when the only process it goes through is to be shrinked, while keeping almost all the material and conceptual elements that compose a regular-size home? We do not want to pretend to offer the same comfort rank as modern housing, but to offer a more real, more reliable experience in the daily life of its residents.

To be in direct contact with nature, to cherish your surroundings, to have the chance to become a little bit more savage: those are the opportunities that are provided within the structure and its organisation. The vastness of the outside space is the continuity of the rooms demarcated by the canvas.


<<I AM WAKING UP,

THE SOUND OF THE WIND IS SLOWLY FADING,

I HEAR IT WHEN THE FABRIC IS NOT TENSE ENOUGH,

I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT STRETCHING IT A LITTLE BIT MORE BEFORE TOIGHT.

THE LIGHT IS SOFT BUT BRIGHT,

SURROUNDING ME FROM EVERY DIRECTION.

THE WARMTH OF THE STOVE PIPE

DECREASED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT,

IT IS NOW JUST EMANATING A FEW LAST CALORIES.

I STAND UP,

AND AS EVERY MORNING, GO OUT OF MY COCOON, WITH THE FEELING TO BLOOM TO

THE WORLD,

I CLIMB DOWN THE STAIRS,

ALONG THE STONE WALL,

PROTECTING US FROM THE STRENGTH OF

THE ELEMENTS.

I ENTER THE ROOM,

STILL WARM FROM THE STOVE AND RESTOCK IT. THROUGH THE WINDOW I CAN SEE

SPRING BLOSSOMING IN THE FURTHER AND CLOSEST LANDSCAPE,

IT IS SOON TIME THAT WE GET RID OF THE SECONDARY CANVAS, TO WIDELY OPEN

OUR ROOMS ON THE OUTSIDE,

TO EXTEND THE INNER SPACE.

OUTSIDE,

THE WEATHER IS CHANGING

I CAN SEE THE GARDEN WAKING UP

BEES START TO WORK AND GO FROM FLOWERS TO FLOWERS

I WILL HARVEST A FEW EARLY TOMATOES FOR LUNCH

I STEP OUTSIDE

IN THE GRASS, THE MORNING DEW FRESHEN MY SKIN I SEE THE SUN COMING

THROUGH THE CRACKED WOODEN DOORD

A MOVEMENT TO MY LEFT

THE WIND IS BLOWING THRUGH THE WALNUT TREES BRANCHES

I AM SURROUNDED BY THE SOFT SOUND

AS IF I WAS SWIMMING IN THE SEA, THE LEAVES MOVING

IN WAVES.>>



Tiny Nest ©Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris

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Tiny Nest ©Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris

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Tiny Nest ©Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris

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Tiny Nest ©Alexandra Baviere, Derrick Baviere & Lou Jeuris

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Second Prize winner:

Rock of Ages 

Design by - Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis (Canada)


LIVING IN 37M2 OF CONCRETE AFTER THE ANTROPOCENE

The project explores the architectural potential of an “off the grid” home, with less than 37 square-meter of inhabitable space. We are locating the project in an abandoned white granite quarry in the center of Vermont, in Graniteville. The generative process of the project is inspired by the way granite blocks are extracted from the cliffs and then split in pieces for export. Thus, we divided the dwelling into different rooms, each corresponding to an essential function of the house, aiming to develop spaces that can offer a rich architectural and spatial experience. By positioning the small rooms on the site, we aimed to take possession of the quarry’s territory and generate by this idea many exterior spaces, counterbalancing the area limitation imposed on the interior. The organization of functions is articulated around the concept of heat, positioning the main fire of the kitchen as an anchor to the project. Our project thus proposes a post- anthropocene vision, by committing to bring life back to an industrial place of the past.


The idea for the material process of the project resides in an ecological approach of reusing what is abundantly available in the quarry. Thus, we use the white granite waste, crushing it to make a cement paste similar to concrete. This paste is then conveyed by a pump to a robotic arm - the only element related to the construction

brought by man on the site - which allows us to 3d print at large scale the different fragments of the project. For the assembly, a crane is already available on the site, which was used in the past to move the rocks in the quarry. The fragments are placed one on top of the other to concretize the inhabitable spaces, bringing the experience of the stratum – highly present in the quarry - to the scale of the materiality of the project.


In addition to the domestic spaces, we designed water retention basins, gardens, a green wall and relaxation spaces, oriented along the main axis of the project, generating variations in the progressive sequence of the project.


Rock of Ages Design by: Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis

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Rock of Ages Design by: Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis

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Rock of Ages Design by: Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis

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Rock of Ages Design by: Samuel Bernier – Lavigne, Antoine- Étienne Gélinas-Michel & Maurane Paradis

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Third Prize winner:

Sharanam

Design by: Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)


Mumbai city is an arena for consumerism. The city's essence lies in the way it is pluralist and integrated, diverse and coherent. Its eclectic composition of different groups and cultures makes it a difficult city to define. The narrow lanes of slums which seem to be an inconvenient maze, become shortcuts to larger destinations. A represent value is added to the human life here. The social and cultural commitment of the community of the urban society is what results in civic beauty, but for many, it’s a city that represents possibility.


In the midst of the unstoppable urbanization and deforestation, the city has a large chunk of land protected as a national park. The shift while entering from an open space that seems seamless to a dark, confined space contrasts with the form of the space to reinforce its boundaries. The thick basalt rock walls, dampness, and the cool air inside emphasizes the structure and its character as a place. The cold, humidity, darkness, and the absence of sensory cues facilitate optical and auditory hallucinations which paves the way of coming into contact with spirits through the wall.


Before looking into the activities of an ASI officer, we must understand that archaeological research is a field that requires great amount of patience and mental strength. Looking through research papers all day, going to the heritage site and testing the land, coming back at the lab and writing the conclusive reports also takes a lot of stamina. The peaceful environment and the refreshing air are some of the advantages of being far from the city. The desire for luxury, space is present in any human. Designing a space after understanding the cultural sensibilities and evolution, geography, its location, accessibility, transport, weather & climate, can also affect the ASI officer’s thinking and the relevance of the structure increases.


The volume of the house is rotated to have a vast bird’s eye view of the Sanjay Gandhi national park. The concept of the design is being completely sustainable, material wise and justifying, respecting the context and history of the place. Sharanam is inspired by the famous proverb – ‘Buddham sharanam gachami’. The organic structure of the roof follows the contours. A semi-private space is provided by making the roof walkable. Ample of ventilation is provided through the different facades of the house. Kinetic wooden panels have been placed such that they can be adjusted manually according to the need of the user. The terrace overlooks the valley of the hill and shelters the garden and the entrance. The view of the hillside from the terrace, with its houses and trees, is a reflection of the place where we live, while the sheltered garden is a continuation of the hillside ground. The windows are made full-height and the interior is made up of repeating strips of the wall. This allows skylight to reach the back of the ground floor from all directions, and intermittent views of the outside light allow the atmosphere of the outdoors to permeate the interior. The design of this house was about a family's search for a house that would allow them to live in today's world, to feel free and rooted in the land.

Sharanam Design by: Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)

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Sharanam Design by: Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)

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Sharanam Design by: Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)

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Sharanam Design by: Kavya Ramakrishnan & Prerana Mohanty (India)

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Honorable Mentions


A transitional place of love 

Design by - Hsiang Ting  Huang (United States)


Designing the future 

Design by - Aparupa Saha, Kirti Dvivedi (India)


Expando – off the grid 

Design by  - Aditi Raj, Tapan Kumar Sabar, Sparsh Ruhela (India)



A transitional place of love Design by: Hsiang Ting Huang (United States)

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A transitional place of love Design by: Hsiang Ting Huang (United States)

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Expando – off the grid Design by: Aditi Raj, Tapan Kumar Sabar, Sparsh Ruhela (India)

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A transitional place of love Design by: Hsiang Ting Huang (United States)

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