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Architecture & Interior Design

The Architecture and Interior Design Jury reviews and evaluates team deliverables and the model home.


The modular concept was very well executed, resulting in a seamless interior experience that was unparalleled. The indoor-outdoor connection also was exemplary, with excellent implementation of both physical and visual access. Interior finishes exhibited meticulous quality, along with sophisticated attention to health performance of materials. The floor plan is very functional, with good public-private separation.

Improvements to consider include:

  • Kitchen storage and task lighting
  • More storage overall
  • A more coherent landscape concept
  • Exterior shell detailing and construction quality, particularly for moisture protection.

The bunk Murphy bed and fog harp were great innovations to showcase, as were the greywater and rainwater collection systems, defensible space, and gutter leaf guards.

We were very pleased by the color palette and textures of the interior – a refreshing change from the prevalent cold, dark color schemes. Their reclaimed wood shelving with exposed iron brackets were a particularly lovely touch. They showed a great enthusiasm for reclaiming waste materials.

We felt that given their intended market of low-income occupants, the floor plan was over-large and the building too high. The high walls also demanded more glass area.

Other issues deserving additional attention include:

  • Space allocation
  • Landscape
  • Doors more in keeping with the overall aesthetic
  • Utilization and furnishing of the great room

The divider shown in your floor plan between the dining and living areas is an excellent idea and we encourage you to include that.

We felt that the courtyard concept had potential to provide a delightful environment in the intended geographic location. However, the courtyard wasn’t quite wide enough, and getting from bedrooms to bathrooms in the rain and/or in the dark could prove problematic, particularly with grade change. Once steps were added in, little functional space remained in the courtyard.

Further opportunities for improvement include:

  • Space allocation in the kitchen and bath module should be reconsidered.
  • Opening locations need further study.
  • Rooms within a single module should have an internal connection.

A positive feature is that the modules have the ability to be configured in a number of different ways.

This project was a standout; all of our judges would be happy living in this house. We were exceptionally impressed that this project was accomplished by high school students.

This home was the only one that showed a sophisticated approach to layered lighting, both interior and exterior. We also enjoyed the use of natural wood throughout the interior, contributing to a very warm and welcoming environment. We love the screen porch and felt that the loft had a variety of potential uses and enabled a wonderful contrast between expansive and intimate spaces. The kitchen is a pleasant and functional work space. The built-in storage is beautifully designed and crafted.

The project is well-integrated within its final site, is fully off-grid, and showcases a wide range of innovative technologies. And although we gave less than full marks for vinyl flooring products, we gave high marks for incorporating many high-quality green materials; the cork cladding was a favorite. This project also showed exceptional thought given to graphic communications. All in all, the design is a fully realized concept and has been executed flawlessly.

Upon entering this house, we were favorably impressed with the airy feeling and excellent natural lighting. There was clear differentiation between the public and private areas, although the bedrooms and bathrooms need doors to provide appropriate privacy.

Further improvements that could be made include:

  • A more consistent stylistic approach in both furnishing and detailing
  • Improved treatment of wall joints and corners for aesthetics and durability
  • Better planning to integrate the home’s mechanical systems
  • Reconsideration of artificial turf, which has many downsides
  • Greater clarity on target market to better inform implementation of the concept
  • Consideration of expansion methods
  • Better access to the roof deck

The notable innovation in this project was the students’ work to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete wall system.

The perforated screen is a stellar, compelling visual and functional element, well designed for the target market. The team did an admirable job of mediating between the constraints of their real site with their programmatic needs. We encourage consideration of adding an upper story or loft beds to get more mileage out of the available footprint.

Challenges that were not fully addressed include:

  • Visual privacy of sleeping areas
  • Small spaces; specifically, lack of desk space, dining table, living room seating for 4+

Both natural light and ventilation were very pleasant. We would have liked to see the landscape plan for the house’s final location, although we anticipate that that will be very well-executed based on the charming, creative, and functional landscape presented here. The plant selection was outstanding.

We were very impressed by the innovative shipping and setup concept – particularly the ability to set up extremely quickly and with only two people – and appreciated the variety of floor plans that were shown. The building shell and its modularity showed interesting potential for varied approaches.


  • Absent documentation
  • Incomplete interiors
  • Quality of workmanship
  • Cultural adaptability seemed questionable

The team was effectively able to answer many of our questions and had clearly done a lot of research. We would encourage you to look into possibilities for outdoor uses and contexts.

We were charmed by the funk and exuberance, and particularly enjoyed the exposed corrugated green walls of the container, and the way the container doors were opened outward to create the delightful dining nook with its reclaimed wood furnishing. We also appreciated that there were a number of other green materials.

Aspects of this project that needed further work include:

  • Quality of finishing, both overall and interior surfaces in particular
  • Clarity on target market
  • Space allocation
  • Better realization of the relationship between the containers, the greenhouse, and the outdoor spaces

Finally, this team incorporated a wide variety of innovative technologies, including some we had never seen before.

This contest evaluates the architecture and interior design of the model home and its ability to deliver both outstanding aesthetics and functionality. A jury of qualified professionals will assign an overall score for conceptual coherence, merit, integration, and implementation of the design. The jury will consider the team deliverables and perform an on-site evaluation of the model home. The jury will consider the following criteria:
  1. How well does the team address issues pertaining to architecture and interior design for the target market?
  2. Overall coherence among architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting, landscaping, and other related disciplines and systems of the model home.
  3. Effectiveness of interior design to provide comfort, functionality, and adaptability.
  4. Effectiveness in the use of architectural elements such as indoor/outdoor connections, composition, and transformable or multi-use spaces.
  5. Integration of both natural and electric lighting in the model home, and overall effectiveness of the lighting system design.
In addition to and separate from the score assigned to each team for the Architecture and Interior Design Contest, the jury will assign each team a score for innovation. This score will become one-fifth of the total score for the Innovation Contest. The jury will consider the following questions:
  1. What unique elements or aspects of architecture and interior design reflect noteworthy innovation?
  2. How innovative is the team’s approach to architectural elements, holistic and integrated design, inclusive of space, structure, and building envelope?

Ann Edminster

Marlene Breene

Kirsten Flynn