“When asked to build housing for 100 families in Chile ten years ago, architect Alejandro Aravena looked to an unusual inspiration: the wisdom of favelas and slums. Rather than building a large building with small units, he built flexible half-homes that each family could expand on. It was a complex problem, but with a simple solution — one that he arrived at by working with the families themselves. With a chalkboard and beautiful images of his designs, Aravena walks us through three projects where clever rethinking led to beautiful design with great benefit.”

Architect Alejandro Aravena reduces housing costs by including unfinished space that families can finish off later however they want.

Architect Alejandro Aravena reduces housing costs by including unfinished space that families can finish off later however they want.

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Image source: Killscreen.com


Comments

Alejandro Aravena: Bring the community into the design process — 6 Comments

  1. Building like this is a great way for anyone, individuals or a community project.

    Most people do not have the confidence, skills, persistence,and time to finish a large house project. But given a basic shell with water, sewage, and electricity, they can complete to their needs over time.
    And best of all, the interest to banks is much smaller.

    The cost of a shell is so much smaller than a finished space.

    • Yes. See today’s blog post. In the video (The Search for Sustainability) someone says that sustainable living and growing healthy food are inseparable. That’s one reason why I’ve been including more blog posts about growing your own food and other permaculture topics.

  2. That is beautiful! What a great idea. I love the concept of building the foundation from which the individual and families can build and expand themselves. Tapping into the people’s ability to build themselves.

    • For those who didn’t notice, the photo shows the stages of construction from left to right.

      This approach is FAR better than packing people into giant housing projects, which are known to fail.

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