Mumbai firm wins global award for affordable hsg design

Mumbai firm wins global award for affordable hsg design

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“Home within House” designed by Mumbai based ‘at Architecture’ has won Building Trust International’s 2018 Affordable Housing Challenge in Phnom Penh. Four honorable mentions from the U.S., Japan, China, and Cambodia were also selected.

More than 3,000 architects and designers around the world participated in Building Trust International’s Affordable Housing Design Challenge 2018. The challenge will see 3000 units developed supporting access to quality sustainable housing solutions for factory workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Further, the winning project will also set a precedent for similar affordable housing initiatives to meet the growing housing needs in Phnom Penh and other Cambodian cities.

Before finalising the winners, the jury evaluated more than 400 entries. The jury consisted of representatives from Building Trust International, the United Nations Development Program, and the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone.

Winning design, ‘Home within House’ is based on four principles, viz., user comfort, community living, cost and space efficiency and sustainability. The main elements of ‘Home within House’ design are


  • The settlement comprises of four main elements – clusters, collective facilities, recreational grounds and streets.
  • The clusters of apartments are oriented in North-South direction, to block the East and the West completely, reducing heat gain from the direct sun.
  • The collective facilities are the semi-open/enclosed double-heighted spaces, occurring at the end of each cluster.
  • The continuous rows of clusters are broken by larger recreational and play grounds, in between.
  • The campus is served by simple loop roads and cycle tracks, interconnecting all the clusters, collective facilities and recreational spaces and converging at the riverfront, which has been developed as a public space with market.


  • Home is a part of a cluster, formed by the alternating pattern of voids and solids, respectively ensuring courtyards on both the sides of each apartment.
  • The utility courtyard with the kitchen garden and the semi open verandas act as an extension to the apartments and create a shared and efficient circulation.
  • A band of green open space is ensured by the community courtyard, overlooked from living areas of each apartment.
  • The courtyards, windows and ventilators aid passive cooling, cross ventilation and natural lighting, creating a comfortable micro-climate for the home.


  • The envelope transit from open to enclosed space via a semi-open space in the form of verandas or balconies on either side of each apartment, thus blurring its boundaries.
  • The pattern and flow of the community spaces into the housing clusters, aids interaction at the community level and also ensures security.
  • The boxing for storage cabinets act as a protection against direct sun and rain for the recessed windows, which are alternated in position for privacy.
  • The layout of the house is kept simple with no permanent partitions or offsets in the rectangular plan, accounting for flexibility and efficiency of the space.

A ‘Home for the workers’ is created within the ‘House of their community’!

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