Imagine a creative, livable, affordable home. Now imagine it in Alaska. Join us in creating a model for a new era of Living Communities. First place prize of $35,000, and the winning design will be built!
The Aleutian Islands are home to some of the world’s longest continuously occupied communities, with evidence of human development dating back 8,500 years. These culturally rich and resilient communities represent a treasure trove for anyone interested in learning how humans might thrive in partnership with the ecosystems they inhabit. Yet current building practices begin with the assumption that materials must be transported thousands of miles, at great expense. Contemporary Aleutian residences are extremely expensive to build and maintain. They consume large quantities of scarce fossil fuels, and they have reduced utility lives in the fierce weather on these northern Pacific islands.
We know that there is a better way. The challenge now is to learn from both past techniques and current practices and expectations to create twenty-first century Aleutian residences that reflect the history, culture, resources and current aspirations of these communities.
Currently, the cost for a new 3-4 bedroom 1,176 to 1,344 square feet home in the region is between $356,000 and $431,000. For the contest, teams are required to develop a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home with between 1150 and 1350 square feet of living space, suitable to the building lot specified in the village of Atka, with a construction budget of no more than $400,000. Online registration must be completed by December 1, 2011. (I probably won’t enter due to lack of time and the large amount of work required.)