Message - Open Design Competition

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Posted by  First Step Housing on June 03, 2003 at 12:46:30:


“First Step Housing” Competition to Begin May 27, 2003

Winning Designs to be Manufactured and Installed in Bowery Lodging House

Design Jury includes Michael Bell, Julie Eizenberg, Andrew Freear, Steven Holl, and Toshiko Mori

Common Ground Community and The Architectural League of New York are holding an open design competition for a new form of individualized dwelling unit entitled First Step Housing. In addition to a $2,000 cash prize, it is also anticipated that up to four winners will enter into an agreement with Common Ground to develop their projects for production and installation at The Andrews House (Common Ground’s lodging house on the Bowery). Winners will also be paid a design fee.

Competitors are asked to design a prototypical individualized dwelling unit and the layout of 19 such units on a typical floor of The Andrews.

First Step will offer private, safe, clean and affordable short-term accommodations to individuals who are transitioning to housing, facing homelessness, or who have rejected or failed in other programs. It is Common Ground’s goal to seek out designs for First Step Housing that respond to the ideas of context, prefabrication, modularity, individualization, cost effectiveness and materiality while adhering to the building codes and performance standards of the project.

Jurors for the competition include Steven Holl, Architect and Professor of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University; Michael Bell, Associate Professor of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University; Julie Eizenberg, Koning Eizenberg Architecture; Andrew Freear, Director, Rural Studio, Auburn University; Toshiko Mori, Professor in Practice and Chair, Harvard Design School; Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director of the Architectural League and Rosanne Haggerty, Founder and President of Common Ground Community.

Competition registration opens May 27, 2003. The registration deadline is July 11, 2003. The design entry submission deadline is 10:00 am, August 25, 2003. Full details on the competition (including registration and requirements) are available on a dedicated website:

The Architectural League is one of the country’s leading forums for the presentation and discussion of important work and ideas in contemporary architecture and design. Through exhibitions, lectures, competitions, publications and special events, the League helps architects, designers and the public enrich their understanding of architecture and its critical contributions to public life.

Common Ground Community is a non-profit housing and community development organization whose mission is to end homelessness through innovative programs to transform people, buildings and communities.

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