Reinventing the House on Wheels
2003 Competition Overview
The "mobile home" and its "park" are still-common sites across North America, even though the present-day house on wheels is not so mobile anymore, usually making only one move, from the factory to the site. Today's houses on wheels-manufactured housing provides a realistic option for dwelling. However, neither this house nor its site has been informed by architectural design thinking. The challenge of the competition is to reconceive the house on a permanent chassis along with its setting.
...Today, chassis-based houses shelter more than 12-1/2 million Americans, accounting recently for 25 percent of new housing starts in the US. Manufactured houses satisfy preferences for norms of ownership, detached dwelling, and private outdoor space. They have found strong market acceptance as a cost-worthy substitute for conventional construction, especially for first-time homebuyers and retirees.
...The architectural charge is to design the space between three manufactured houses as well as the houses themselves. Workably limited in scope and scale, the task includes the scale of architectural detail, in which fractions of an inch matter, to the scale of settlement, a segment of a newly conceived community that incorporates urban design thinking. The three houses include one singlewide, one doublewide, and one courtyard house located contiguously.
Carol Burns, AIA
Jury Chair & Program Author
Taylor & Burns Architects
Editor in Chief
Office of Mobile Design
Los Angeles, CA
CEO, New Era Building Systems
Manufacturer of modular housing
Peter N. Vincent, AIA
Lyceum Fellowship Committee
Peter Vincent & Associates, LLC