Winning Designs Planned for Three Hard-Hit Cities

The "Designing Recovery" contest winners were created to withstand natural disasters – hurricanes and tornadoes – specifically in New York, New Orleans, and Joplin, Mo.

Residents of areas vulnerable to hurricanes and tornadoes should examine the winning plans in the "Designing Recovery" contest held by the American Institute of Architects, Make It Right, St. Bernard Project, Architecture for Humanity, and Dow Building Solutions. The competition, intended to help in rebuilding sustainable and resilient communities, specified that entries be suited for three cities recently hit by natural disasters: New York City, New Orleans, and Joplin, Mo.

"When examining all of the designs submitted, we continually asked ourselves if this would be a house we would want to live in regardless of safety considerations," said Michael Willis, FAIA, NOMA, who chaired the jury that judged the contest. "The three designs that we chose all had the ideal combination of addressing disaster mitigation and actual livability. The designs all had the sort of flexibility to be both a resilient safe haven during a natural disaster, but also serve as a dwelling that catered to family conditions and would blend into appropriate neighborhood styles without projecting a 'bunker-like' feeling."

According to AIA, all entries "that are feasible to construct will go into production in the corresponding communities."

The winners are Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building's Resilient House for New York, which can be built for less than $50,000 in material cost and will be built above the floodplain with a flood-proof foundation; Q4 Architects' CORE House in Joplin, which combines a tornado-proof "safe house," containing all functions necessary for a family to recover quickly from a disaster and live for an extended period of time, inside the larger home; and GOATstudio LLP's design for New Orleans, a house with its floor 7 feet above ground level.

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