16 Jun 2022

Home grown housing

An expandable house designed to grow to suit residents’ changing needs has been shortlisted for an international architecture award. The building in Indonesia is designed for regions where rapid urbanisation means there is often a lack of infrastructure for migrants arriving there and land is still relatively cheap.

The house has the flexibility to adapt to fluctuations in its residents’ consumption and spending as well as their waste production and water, energy and food use. The roof of the property can be raised to add levels of living space, with the foundations able to support additional storeys and space for small businesses such as shops or workshops.

Integrated into the design are a rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, a septic tank sewage system and passive cooling principles. It also includes a vertical kitchen garden and a bamboo nursery and all the technology used in the house are sourced locally. The design can be adapted for different regions and aims to be a ‘seed’ that can develop in the way most suited to the surrounding community. 

The house in the Batam Riau Islands in Indonesia was designed by ETH Zurich/Stephen Cairns with Miya Irawati, Azwan Aziz, Dioguna Putra and Sumiadi Rahman. It’s one of 20 projects shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, with the winner due to be announced next month. 

Read more about the prize and see the full shortlist