Context & Brief

The Architecture Foundation of BC promotes BIG IDEAS that recognize sustainable design, architectural merit and innovation in order to advance the knowledge and practice of the design of sustainable buildings in British Columbia.

The AFBC invites the participants of this competition to explore, rethink, question and experiment with new ideas that will challenge the concept of the regional house and the way we live.

Historically, most houses were constructed as ’100 mile’ houses from caves, sod houses, log cabins and stone houses to the First Nations’ indigenous cedar houses, tepees and igloos. People worldwide used whatever available materials were at hand to build shelters for themselves and their families. But is this possible in a modern 21st Century city like Vancouver? This competition will challenge all participants to rethink the way we live and select materials, systems and technology that reflect this reality in the world of computers, the internet, Facebook, etc…  Participants are encouraged to challenge the logic of the present, formulate new questions, and explore variations that will allow new potentials for living.

Geographically, we have selected the City of Vancouver to be the focus of the competition for the ’100 Mile House’. Participants are challenged to design a house to accommodate 4 people with a maximum area of 1200 square feet (111M2) using only materials and systems made/ manufactured / recycled within 100 miles of the City of Vancouver. A hypothetical flat, corner site of 33′ X 120′ (10.0 M X 36.6 M) will be used for the context (See Site Plan Here). All city services (water, sewer, storm drain, natural gas and electricity) are available to the property line should the entrant choose to use them.

Affordability, while important, is NOT the focus of this competition. Competitors are free to propose any alternatives but the concept of the 100 Mile House should equally apply to luxury finishes and products. Being environmentally conscious is not always dictated by cost.

Similarly, zoning and building bylaws of the City of Vancouver are important criteria in reality but again are NOT the focus of the competition. Competitors are not expected to know the bylaws and building codes of a specific area but general construction practice should be demonstrated. The applicability of the solutions to other jurisdictions will be important regardless of minor variances in building codes. It is hoped that necessity, as the mother of invention, will foster/ create prototypes that could be modified and the ideas exported to any geographic area. All submissions should demonstrate the integration of local social, technological, economic and aesthetic sustainability into the final solutions.

This is a global competition. Architects, designers, artists, students and other environmentally conscious creators from around the world are encouraged to submit their ideas.