News Brief

Winning Designs of AIA Contest to Be Used in Post-Storm Recovery

The winning design for the Joplin category features a tornado-resilient safe house built inside a larger house meant for everyday use.

Image: AIA

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) recently announced the winners of its “Designing Recovery” contest, a design competition that judged resilient house plans for New York City, New Orleans, and Joplin, Missouri.

An elevated bungalow by the Canadian architecture firm Sustainable. TO Architecture + Building took first place for the New York division, featuring a “flood-proof” foundation and a split roof with clerestory windows for passive heating through solar gain. The house is also economical, says the firm, as materials for the building cost less than $50,000.

GOATstudio LLP designed the winning proposal for New Orleans based on a traditional “shotgun house” model. The home has an elevated finished floor seven feet (2.1 m) above ground and a steel roof that “turns and wraps the southern exterior wall for additional sun protection,” helping to maintain livable temperatures in case of a power outage, according to AIA.

The tornado-resilient “Core House” by Q4 Architects won in the Joplin category for its safe house that is built inside of a larger perimeter house. The safe house is constructed of anchored concrete masonry units and includes a rainwater harvesting system designed to support a family for an extended period of time until rebuilding would be possible.

“All of the entries that are feasible to construct will go into production in the corresponding communities,” according to an AIA press release—not just the winning designs. Partner organizers of the contest include Architecture for Humanity, Make It Right, the St. Bernard Project, and Dow Building Solutions.


Published November 1, 2013

Pearson, C. (2013, November 1). Winning Designs of AIA Contest to Be Used in Post-Storm Recovery. Retrieved from

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August 16, 2019 - 3:58 am

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