Winning Submission

Chicago has taken another step toward being a town free of adolescent homelessness. The winner of the Tiny Homes Competition’s project application has been announced. Terry Howell, AIA and LEED GA from Chicago, Marty Sandberg, AIA (partner at Via Chicago Architects), and Lon Stousland, Associate Architect, Antunovich Associates) were the winners of the competition. The winners will get a $5,000 cash prize and will build a prototype for their tiny home at the Pride Action Tank Tiny Homes Summit, which will be held at UIC on April 18-19.

In November 2015, the Tiny Homes Competition was launched as an international design competition. It was looking for speculative designs for tiny dwellings to house Chicago’s homeless youngsters. There were over 250 submissions total. The AIA Chicago Foundation, Landon Bone Baker Architects, and AIA Chicago Foundation collaborated to put on the event. The Alphawood Foundation provided funding.

The competition jury was made up of a broad group of people who work in low-income housing. A tiny home neighborhood for transitional living has been designed by Brent Brown, AIA of bcworkshop in Dallas, TX. Landon Bone Baker’s Jeff Bone, AIA, The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Marisa Novara, La Casa Norte’s Sol Flores, and Benet Haller were also in attendance.

Sandberg, Stousland, and Howell met in the undergraduate design studios at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. They all graduated in 2011 and relocated to Chicago, where they continue to work together. They both have backgrounds in urban planning and classical architecture, thus they have a similar approach to design. Architecture, they believe, has the power to affect and reflect its environment. Each project is an opportunity to make a positive difference in their community.

The building of “A House for Living In” is a classic one-story “duplex” with shed roof. The project includes 11 tiny dwellings and a community space for college-aged youth. Each unit is 336 square feet in size and costs $73 per square foot.

The design is a modern spin on a Chicago-style courtyard architecture, according to the team. Residents can enter the common courtyard through a protected gate, which also has a community gardening area. Deep breezeways that span between tiny houses are used as front porches and shared.

The Tiny Homes Competition gave the winning team the opportunity to explore a fresh dwelling type and apply our design approach in a familiar Chicago location, according to the winning team.”

Terry’s parents, who have lived in Bronzeville for many years, have entertained us for countless BBQ nights just two blocks from the tournament venue. The chance to design for a site where I have such a personal connection was an added bonus.

Community planning, feasibility, and creative issue solving were among the judging criteria. Also, program quality and how the design might help or impede a youth’s transition from homelessness.

Juror Benet Haller complimented the way the large ideas and specifics were organized. According to him, “The website for submissions is quite user-friendly. The storage areas are thoughtfully placed, and the sleeping area is divided from the living area. The usage of brick for the exterior is appealing. In every regard, this submission is flawless.

Dan Wheeler / Wheeler Kearns Architects received honorable mentions in second and third place, respectively, in the final program. Joe Villanti (senior architect at Pappageorge Haymes), Tyler Hopwood, and Ryan Arnaudov (LEED AP BD&C) from Chicago came in third place. Petya Petrova, Pappageorge Haymes), and Petya Petrova, Pierre-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon-Yves Rochon, and Georgi Todorov, Pappageorge Haymes), and Pet (Pierre-Yves Rochon).

These work will be on exhibit at Architectural Artifacts on May 5 for the AIA Chicago Small Projects Awards Party. This event is free and open to the public.