Urban Fold

Designing the Indestructible Home

With extreme weather on the rise across the United States, a recent competition asked architects to design the resilient home of the future. The winners offer an impressive "balance between resiliency and livability," writes Emily Badger.

"Since June, architects have been trying to model new housing solutions for communities that have experienced three very different disasters: the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and Superstorm Sandy in New York" as part of the "Designing Recovery" competition sponsored by the American Institute of ArchitectsMake it Right, the St. Bernard Project and Architecture for Humanity.

The three winners of the competition were announced this week, and among them, Badger finds the Joplin winner "particularly intriguing."

"Q4 Architects created a safe space within a home instead of a shelter underneath it, a kind of house inside of a house," she explains. "The result is an idea that could be replicated anywhere in tornado alley: A highly indestructible 600 square-foot core of concrete masonry, hurricane shutters and tornado doors where a family could survive a tornado and live beyond it, with several more flexible (and affordable) rooms wrapped around it."

According to Badger, "[t]he project is aiming to actually construct the winning designs, one selected for each setting, with the help of volunteer labor and donated funds and materials."

Full Story: An Ingenious Home Built to Battle Tornadoes

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