This proposed mobile compact home for the low income was a shortlisted entry in the ‘HOME’ competition (professional category) organized by Building Trust International in August 2012. Proposals were sought for a selection of pre-determined sites in some of the world’s richest countries, and our chosen site is in Singapore. Singapore’s high densities and high cost of living mean that land available for low-income housing is scarce. In response to this situation, we have proposed a prefabricated and compact home that could be placed in any parts of the city. Each unit has a total floor area of 30 square metres and comes with fully functioning spaces for everyday life activities. An internal courtyard allows daylight to filter through and ventilation to occur within the compact space.
The HOME units’ ‘living’ green facades and mobility suggest that it can be placed practically anywhere in the city and it will blend with the urban fabric. The facades are largely covered with a myriad of tropical plants and the added greenery will become part of Singapore government’s initiative to green the city with local flora and fauna and achieve the concept of “a city in a garden”. The idea is that the authorities will allow the units to be placed in public areas as long as each occupant maintains the greens of his/her home in thriving condition at all times. In addition to the green walls, a simple hydroponic planting system on the vertical facades will allow the occupants to grow their own vegetables and herbs.
The units come in 3 variations of the main facade design, chosen by the occupant depending on their health, mobility and how and where they prefer to live. Type 1 comes with a small covered patio which is suitable for those who prefers to live in an assisted or non-assisted community. This unit type can be placed on the roof top deck of an existing housing block or car park structure or temporary urban open spaces.
Type 2 allows the attachment of a billboard, electronic screen or other interactive medium. The occupant will be able to earn a small income by allowing advertisers to promote their products or services on his/her living unit. This type will be suitable for locations along the high street or at tourist attraction zones.
Type 3 is for the able person who would like their living unit to perform as a kiosk that gives out tourist information leaflets, sells newspapers, refreshments, lottery tickets, etc. Similar to Type 2, these units can be located in shopping districts, markets, tourist attraction zones and also public parks.