How the design of your home can enrich your life

Case study: LifeSize | Tiny Houses for Vibrant Communities

Our global population has been growing immensely over the past decades, forcing us to think of new creative and innovative solutions in order to accommodate this growing population.
As part of a competition commissioned by ouwEXPO we developed a tiny house concept we call “LifeSize- A house for life”. LifeSize Tiny houses is a response to a social and architectural movement called ‘Tiny houses’, that advocates a simpler way of living, more 
 compact & more efficient. ‘Liberated living’ rather than ‘establishing living’ is the guiding principle for people looking to be less dependent on material possessions, less anchored in physical settings and free to suit their evolving needs.
The future of living lies in serving people’s individual lifestyles, changing needs and evolving dynamics. Every person has a widely different lifestyle, with different needs throughout their life, if only due to different life stages: from childhood to student-years, from young professionals to young couples, from having a first child to retirement.

LifeSize Tiny Houses represents four main driving concepts:

1. Diversity of Individuals
LifeSize houses satisfy individuals’ needs, tastes and preferences such as urban location, views, outdoor spaces, interior size and facilities.

2. Interaction of the Community
Especially in urban contexts, the LifeSize houses are not about a small or crammed interior space. Instead they are about efficiency and adaptability and are complimented with an abundant outdoor common space that is to be shared with the rest of a community of people with a similar lifestyle.

3.Smart and Sustainable
The LifeSize houses are designed to be easily assembled, disassembled and transported. They are made of prefab and reusable materials and produced in series.

4. Adaptable and Agile
The LifeSize houses are conceived of a base unit of 12,96m2 (net area 11,56m2), we call them ‘Cells’. Every house can be made of 2 to 4 cells. This modular system is flexible and can be adapted to either shrink or expand depending on changing circumstances or preferences.

Three Scales of LifeSize Tiny Houses
1. The individual house
2. The immediate neighbours
3.The community scale

The Rules of LifeSize Tiny Houses
The houses are designed to strike the balance between the individual and the community. So, besides a set of general rules that dictate the urban arrangement, a set of live rules is developed to ensure that everyone’s measures are taken into consideration depending on the real time of everyone else’s measures. Where, how much and to which height can a house be built depends on a set of general rules determined by urban conditions such as courtyards, heights, sun orientation, ventilation but also by a set of live rules that depend on the neighbouring’s condition.

Sustainability measures
We believe sustainability is not only about green or ecological measures. “Sustainable” means a system that can sustain itself for the long-term future and so it is a much wider scope that eco-friendly materials.

Personal sustainability
The housing needs of every person change and evolve through his/her lifecycle. However, with the LifeSize Tiny Houses, there is no need for moving and changing houses. Instead, your own house can grow and shrink as needed, making sure only what is needed is used at any given time.

Social sustainability
Specially in urban environments, creating social cohesion is key in creating a successful community, and that starts with interactions. To foster interactions, common spaces are essential. Residents will use terraces, courtyards and inner streets to connect and interact. The houses will grow and adapt with the lives of the people inhabiting it.

Global sustainability
By creating a working prototype of urban tiny houses, the local knowledge gained from such a project can be extrapolated to inform the global urban communities about a viable alternative. It is important that even though the learning and the knowledge are global, the application, materials and manufacture remain local.

Food production
The common courtyard is not only ideal for children playing, people interacting or simply enjoying some outdoor time, they are also an opportunity to have allotments and collaborate around growing local ingredients.

Water collection
A system of water collection runs from the roofs and terraces to underground cisterns.

Solar Panels
The roof of each unit is ideal to be equipped with up to six solar panels, with a production of 0,4Kw. Sharing the energy production among all neighbors makes the entire neighborhood energetically self-sufficient.

Ecological materials
Recyclable and reusable materials, such as wood and steel, are used to reduce the impact of construction on the environment due to construction.

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