2020 Competition

Katherine Darnstadt,AIA, of Latent Design in Chicago is Program Author for the 2020 competition -

BELT TIGHTENING - Bungalows For A Millennial Family

Competition overview below. Complete site and program details available for download by August, 2019.

2020 Competition Overview

BELT TIGHTENING - Bungalows For the Millennial Family

“Between 1910 and 1930, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in America. In those 20 years, it added more than a million residents. As second generation immigrants moved up the economic ladder, they typically sought to move outside the denser, older neighborhoods where they had grown up. Investors bought up and subdivided the open prairie on the city’s edges to maximize profits. The American Dream of a house with a yard was as strong a lure then as it is now, and the lots sold quickly to families and developers.” ~ Chicago Architecture Center

The Chicago Bungalow is an iconic symbol of residential design and economic progress. The muscular brick buildings pioneered the open plan concept and accented these new wide open spaces with Arts and Crafts movement details. A typical bungalow is characterized by a raised first floor over a full basement and attic, both which would be later renovated into guest spaces and suites for extended family. Chicago bungalows are modest single family homes, with full basement, first floor and slant-ceilinged attic above. They are capped by a low pitched roof with overhanging eaves and entered through a front door off to one side, next to a wide bay of living room windows. Bungalows were built on a modest scale to make them more affordable, but at the same time the small size of the house related to the contemporary philosophy that healthy living involved a lot of outside time. Kids were supposed to play outside and families to engage in healthful yard work on weekends and evenings.

Understanding the historical design context, demographics and shifting definitions of family to be more expansive and inclusive, define, design, and deploy a new housing prototype for Chicago. The student should consider the space over the course of generations and plan for flexibility in overall and occupant use. Architectural and narrative diagrams should be utilized to explain the proposed design. Students should question current acceptable standards for residential construction. Does the design of a space for only residential use make sense as remote and flexible work proliferate? Is a garage the highest and best use of limited space when car ownership is declining? Or could a flexible studio space be created on the same footprint?

Learning from the history and design of bungalows and utilizing the standard Chicago lot, design a new housing prototype for Chicago.