Prompting architects and designers to submit their concepts for an ideal lockdown space, Tamayouz Design Challenge 2020 aimed to provide an enjoyable exercise for the architectural community during lockdown, while also sparking conversation about the importance of well-designed spaces that meet the physical and emotional needs of living in lockdown.
Receiving more than 200 submissions from all over the world, the challenge had a seven-day submission period, which was held between 4 and 11 May. The only criteria given to designers was that their spaces needed to measure 25 square meters and meet the regulations of lockdown. The voting period also spanned one week, and occurred between 19 May to 26 May.
The challenge drew the attention of hundreds of thousands of people, as the public tuned in to voice their opinion about their ideal lockdown space, and to observe the various design submissions. While some designers placed their lockdown spaces in serene natural landscapes, others attempted to create lockdown communities. Some submissions even entered virtual reality, opting to offer a complete disconnection from the present. The challenge recognised five winners, and presented each with a cash prize. To view all the submissions, please visit Tamayouz’s Facebook page here.
Additionally, the School of Architecture at Coventry University in the UK, the academic sponsor of Tamayouz Excellence Award, joined the effort, and selected its own five winners. The winners selection by Coventry University was made based on the projects’ “dreaming of a new way forward for humanity”, said the jury, with the designs being secondary to the values that the designs evoked.
According to UK-based architect Sebastian Hicks, assistant professor of architecture at Coventry University, the submissions received in the challenge presented “so much creative energy”.
“New worlds emerge as we have the chance to rediscover and re-evaluate our most intimate spaces,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to discover each one. We have been invited to share each other’s spaces, and produce a catalog of possibilities.
“From the pragmatist to the dreamer, everyone is present here. At Coventry, we have chosen five that offer views of a revised world, drawing the positive from these difficult times. We say great thanks for having the opportunity to see each one.”
Here, Tamayouz Excellence Award presents the top five winners of the public vote, followed by the top five winners of Coventry University Choice Award. Winners are not listed in any specific order. All project descriptions are provided by the designers.
Public Vote Winners
The Quiet House by Leena Atef & Yazeed Tubailah
Project Description from Designers: For our design we decided to study a motivational-theory in psychology (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) that is comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels.
Due to the requirement of the current pandemic, we reorder these needs to fit ours.
We aimed to satisfy these needs from the bottom of the hierarchy upwards! The challenge was designing an isolation space in a very small area and yet still let the user be capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization despite the covid-19 crises!
Designing Self-isolation Space as Response to Covid-19 by R2MT (Rama Al Mulqi & Razan Tuama)
Project Description from Designers: The concept is based on distancing definition, where spaces within the single dwelling were separated from each other as our relationships. This design ensures person safety in pandemic situations.
The design relied on using the existing housing with some modifications that could be applicable, such as separating spaces and changing the cladding into easy to clean materials that limit the life cycle of viruses.
This has led to effective, applicable, and suitable function to improve public safety.
The design study a 25 square meters (4 m * 6.25 m) studio that depends on the light colours, smooth materials, natural lighting and ventilation, with adding some greenery.
Foldable Lockdown Space by Saja Abdel Khaleq Zeadeh
Project Description from Designer:
1. To create a flexible space that acts as a shading device for grade-level parking spaces. Meanwhile, in emergencies it can be modified to provide shelter for lockdown.
2. To design a modular liveable unit that can be multiplied as many as needed according to number of users.
Why a parking space is chosen to locate the project?
1. In terms of location, it is attached to residential buildings which gives the feeling of inclusiveness and ease of reach. However, it is a separated unit that accomplishes the aims of quarantine.
2. In terms of space, the standers dimensions of a parking slot can be invested to create fully functioning studio. (width 2.7 m , length 6.6 m , height 2.5 – 3 m)
3. In terms of feasibility, it is already an existing land; other than a lockdown space, the container can be folded and used as a shading device, or unfolded to add a storage space; which means that the project’s time of use is maximized.
1. Prefab folding container studio with the advantage of quick assembly and storage.
2. Sustainable materials, water proof and reusable.
3. Foldable furniture to create a multi-purpose space inside the unit.
4. Provided with basic daily needs that insures the ability to depend on the interior space without the need to leave it. (kitchenette, W.C, washing machine, adjustable space, rooftop)
5. Provides isolation and physical distancing, yet maintains visual connection with people.
6. Ecstatically, the exterior is designed to blend within the context. The interior can be decorated as wanted. The space allows both mandatory functions and entertainment. This helps to keep on daily routines and take care of mental health.
7. A green space can be added once the container is assembled, which creates a pleasant view while enjoying time on the rooftop.
Expandable according to the available space, and repeatable according to number of users.
My World Room by Samir Kyriakos
Project Description from Designer:
* A sterilizer upon entry with a place to put gloves and a protective mask.
Seating corner with TV and reading library.
* Corner to work online from home (computers).
* Sleep corner at a level above the working corner where the stairs and the under stairs are safes.
* A place dedicated to the pet.
* Food fridge near the work corner.
* Presence of musical instrument (guitar) and video games (PlayStation)
* In addition to computers to play and learn online.
The Inner Peace by Ibrahim Mtanious Dawa
Project Description from Designers: The project is an eco-friendly studio on the lakeshore. The building materials are environmentally friendly materials that are wood and glass and there are solar panels to provide electricity and heat water.
It consists of a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen corner, seating and a small balcony with lake view. We note the largest length of the studio on the south to introduce air and light.
This studio is a very suitable place for self-isolation as it is located in the arms of nature and away from crowding and in a very beautiful environment that enables us to relax and enjoy inner peace with a view of the lake in addition to that it is designed as a small house that contains all the requirements of life and calm.
Coventry University Choice Award Winners, selected by the School of Art and Design
Tree House by Diego Garcia Rodriguez
Jury Comment: Perhaps this is a chance to return to the essentials. Tune in and drop out! Disconnect to reconnect! On a more practical level that many can relate to, this is a D.I.Y. heaven. A self-build that will always be in flux, one invention at a time.
Project Description from Designers: This ideal space is a manifesto of how we could live in a most closed relation with nature in aims to avoid stress during this quarantine. Also it’s a proposal of an autonomous way of life. It is mostly open so we can admire nature and to enjoy the step of the day.
Hang-[out] by Jitendriya Meher, Rana Sarkar, Ayushman Kedia & Anmol Bhargava
Jury Comment: The body and mind are mapped onto four parallel spaces – spaces which, for a short time have become worlds. The importance of the body in space is elegantly shown here. Our lockdown days become choreographies.
Project Description from Designers: The ‘hang-[out]’ is a portrayal of the ideal lockdown spaces for four Architect friends, currently living in different corners of the world. These spaces have been represented as ‘Parallel Projections’ since the entire ideation and design process happened through group video calls, wherein we shared our lockdown lives and immediate environments via mobile screens, a 2-d manifestation of a 3-d world. The common activities were identified and a design program was formalized to accommodate primary needs such as a place to rest, refresh, recreate, work and connect. This was super-imposed by each individual’s personal interests, further extrapolated by the unique physical setting. Therefore, each individual’s ideal lockdown space is contextual, catering to his wants as well satiating his desire to connect/disconnect.
Microcosm by Majd Waleed Abu-Ajamieh
Jury Comment: Perhaps the lockdown can give birth to a new world! As we reduce our private space, realise we can get by with less, and we nurture our own personal islands; Then, a new utopia is born!
Project Description from Designer: Dependency and detachment from nature are among the contemporary issues we are dealing with on a daily basis and are mostly felt during the lockdown, some houses these days need an hour ride to reach the nearest grocery store and are surrounded by regular boxes that block any sense of life, and this indicates the importance of self-sufficient, and biophilic dwellings.
For this reason, Microcosm represents a standalone space with a vegetable and a rain garden to provide the user with sufficient food from the land, it is blended with nature to the point that it can be mistaken for a small hill. The oval shape and the leveling are meant to provide extra space with less angles to accommodate as much zones as possible for different activities. The centre is emphasized with a stone structure that can be used as a fluid seating that provides multiple positioning, and is topped by a skylight. Consequently, it provides an environment that simulates nature with its openness and illumination, and this can help in surpassing the challenges of the lockdown.
This hill-like unit can be a detached part of a house in the backyard, or even in the middle of a greenfield in a natural setting surrounded by similar units that are distanced but not isolated.
Natural Healing by Shafiul Islam
Jury Comment: We use the lockdown to develop skills of self-sufficiency. De-centralised, resilient systems are required, where we can all become guardians of the future. The human uses the lockdown to play an active role in facilitating generative systems. We will start to build houses around aquaponics systems.
Project Description from Designer: ‘Social Distancing’ period has showed us that even a healthy person becomes sick in case of long duration of stay at home. Again, it can’t provide us our basic needs like ‘Food and Nutrition’ during emergency. We must need such an extension that ensures the ‘Mental and Physical health’ and ‘Food and Nutrition’.
That leads us to design such a space with nature which has visual connectivity and maintains ‘Social Distancing’.
Aquaponics plantation will provide us both Protein and Vitamins at the same time it will act as a garden and a recreation space by providing fishing and gardening work.
Cave of the Present: A home space by Raghad Nsaif
Jury Comment: Gloriously esoterical, the space is a dream. We shed worldly belongings and desires, to become perfectly balanced. Swaying like a pendulum, responsive to the slightest shifts in energy. The lockdown has re-sensitised us to our immediate surroundings!
Project Description from Designer: The idea is to introduce nature into our homes, as an essential part.
The swing is the heart and the movement of the space spirit and its inhabitants.
The hammock mediates space and acts as a connecting column between the water pool underneath, which makes for a pleasant activity and the ceiling from which the plants hang.
– The inner walls simulate the zigzags inside their caves, but with a white color, mixing the idea of the old man as he enters the cave to protect himself from the external danger, as we do today when our homes are the refuge from the danger surrounding us.
A space that combines the elements of nature, water and plants, dedicated to a family gathering or an individual contemplation area, an experience worth imagining.