The Birmingham Architectural Association are delighted to announce the shortlisted entries to the 2020 Home competition. There were a wide range of entries to showcase creative talent and the judges were very impressed with the high calibre of the submissions.
“Home provides physical and psychological sanctuary. It has been a guardian of identity.” (De Botton, 2006)
Winners and runners-up:
Robert Lockley – “House Home” – Professional Category Winner
“My partner and I moved into our new home on the Friday before lockdown. The move, like all moves, had been “fluid.” Plans changed, dates were rescheduled, yet here we are, trapped in the most luxurious of bubbles. The unusual nature of our new build is what drew us to Birmingham, its bold architecture and ambitious designs for the future all the more prevalent in this new world.
I produced my entry in the early days of lockdown. Limited but excited by the views that surround me. Hopeful for what awaits.”
House (looking out) Home (looking in)
The judges were impressed with the internal and external image, showing the experience of living at home during the lockdown period.
Nicky Szabo ‘Toslisy’ – “Port Loop” – Professional Category Runner Up
“A ‘home’, for me, is something one creates. A house is simple to imagine but a home is a very personal design. With that in mind, I’ve illustrated in isometric vector format my own home in the award-winning Port Loop development. This house is unique and reflects my personality from its conception but what made it truly my home was carefully designing the interior. The colours chosen are darker to contrast my work environment, most tones are muted and the palette is minimal.
This home is shared between my partner and I, each with our studio on different floors while everything else is a shared space.”
The judges were impressed with the dynamic internal design submitted by Nicky Szabo, showing her domestic life during lockdown.
Maria Barnes – “My Garden and Beyond” – Student Category Winner
Living in isolation, the value of a garden has truly been highlighted. For me, when I’m in my garden, I certainly don’t feel isolated…
The garden has provided me relief and opportunity for creativity, nurturing, learning, observation and entertainment. Most importantly it became the connection to my family, who are also avid gardeners. Every video call with my grandma became a tour of new growth and change; as most other things in life ground to a halt.
Living in a dense area, I feel an obligation to use gardening to enhance the local habitat and add to the greater urban ecosystem: the sight of a bird, a bee or a neighbour’s cat in the garden has become very rewarding for me.
‘The image drawn depicts my garden within the surrounding city/ ecosystems. The perspective is warped to exaggerate what I see from my window; ‘my bubble world and beyond’ and illustrates the importance and value I see in my garden.’
(The entry was influenced by a drawing I saw (pre-lockdown) in the Garden Museum (London) called South London, Chelsea by Anthony Gross.)
The judges were impressed with the simplicity of this pen and ink drawing, from Maria’s house during lockdown, looking into the garden.
Emme Trenchard-Mole – “Home Comforts” – Student Category Runner Up
Like everyone during lockdown I’ve spent a lot more time at home than usual. This has helped me appreciate the comforts of home so much more, and makes me realise there really is no place like home. In this piece I have conveyed the emotions I feel when I think of home. Home is; my morning jogs down the locks of the Tardebigge Canal, a hot cup of tea in my favourite mug and the excitement of watching my homegrown tomatoes develop. Home is where I can do absolutely nothing and still feel content. Home is my calm, cosy, safe place, my protective bubble.
The judges were impressed with Emme’s watercolour drawing. The drawing effectively showed her experience during lockdown in one image.
Andrew Saunders and his dad – “Bo Plass” Garden BBQ – Family Category Winner
‘Bo Plaas’ is Afrikaans for Top/Upper (Bo) Farm (Plaas) which references a prominent wine farm in South Africa near where we used to live. We even have a previous project named Shamwari, after a game reserve in Paterson, South Africa. The ritual of naming places in our home the same as others from South Africa allows us to be closer to them, even through jokes or having to explain the name to guests. Is it obnoxious? Maybe. Does it bring us joy and bring pride? Absolutely.
My dad asked me to design this summer house so we could construct it together, discovering where we had gaps and opportunities to do some problem-solving. As an architecture student in Birmingham this proved handy in building my practical knowledge and provided circumstances where I was able to educate my dad also, whether it was design principles, history or regulations. The ability to apply my skills, to try and fail in a practical circumstance, was valuable.
Quarantine has brought an opportunity for us to experiment. What skills do we have? What skills do we each have? What else could we learn? That’s what home fundamentally embodies – lessons learned and lessons shared. I believe quarantine has brought us together in a way we didn’t expect, challenging us to truly value our time together.
Bo Plaas Construction
The structure provides a shelter akin to a summer house.
It is a timber frame structure with acrylic Perspex windows.
Planning constraints involved the removal of tree stumps on site, with modifications of the existing structure to be made safe. The beams and floor needed to be straightened.
Aside from a submerged stump, no other trees were required to be trimmed or harmed.
When you approach the structure, you are met by a welcoming deck leading to a structure clad in vertical timber slats.
Modifications to the timber doors have made dynamic openings creating an environment free from weathering, providing a place of comfort when it rains or intense summer sun.
The large doors are designed to bifold so that the indoor space is bridged with the outdoor, creating a comfortable flow. They open out to a deck where social gatherings, primarily BBQs (or a ‘Braai’ in Afrikaans), can be held. The chamfered corner provides a smooth transition between the garden and the sitting area with a single step.
The design of the doors reflects the exterior cladding, carrying the same motif of the slats. The use of these slats carries a strong vertical element to encourage looking up giving an impression of a taller structure, enhancing what is a small footprint of 20sqm.
Budget estimate: £1000 / Total costs post construction: £870
The judges were impressed with this project which was designed and built using sustainable building methods during the lockdown period. The judges were impressed by the collaborative teamwork, to design and deliver a complete built project.
Chip Sullivan + Elizabeth Boults – “May Days” – Family Category Runner Up
The art piece was conceived as a contemporary ‘book of days’ in which we took turns reflecting on the relationship between myth, nature and current events during the month of May. Evident in our individual daily responses are analogues to the pagan calendar, to the plight of musicians and waiters, to the birth of spring, and to the fixation on death rates and stock market indices. Manila hang tags provided the module for each day’s creative response; the tags were then placed chronologically on a painted wood board prepared with 31 brass cup-hooks. The result is a ‘magic square’—an interactive calendar inspired by historical ecological parables, that also serves as a record of phenomenological experiences during this time of pandemic.
The judges were impressed by Chip Sullivan and Elizabeth Boults creative diary, showing their shared experience, during the pandemic. The watercolours were particularly expressive.