‘Turf’ competition launched - Student Housing Design Challenge-by UNI.xyz

Turf— Architecture Competition by UNI.xyz

‘Turf’ is an architecture competition that invites thoughtful and effective design solutions to create healthy living environments for students in their accommodations. In many cases, the increase in demand and cost of mass housing may have led to compromised quality of spaces. In such conditions, architects and designers are needed to bring forward economic designs to build modular, scalable, and affordable student housing. Students are not only shaped in their educational spaces but also by their living conditions. The competition encourages architects/designers to consider various needs of students, physical and psychological, and provide quality housing that supports their overall well-being.

Fig: 1 — A typical student housing — An impression

Students’ living environments

Education is a powerful weapon that can be wielded by students to change the world. This makes students a valuable asset to every nation, and the manner in which they are taught and guided will be reflected in the future.

While academic spaces are responsible for being conducive to creativity and problem-solving, other spaces in students’ lives are given less thought. Students spend a lot of time in different forms of student accommodations, and these places are capable of largely influencing their physical and mental health.

Student accommodations are generally designed to function as living spaces, through minimal interventions. Even so, it is important that these spaces be as open and creative as we want the student’s minds to be, and design plays a major role in creating such quality environments.

Achieving quality is a difficult goal to achieve since it is often governed by economic factors. But with the demand for housing solutions rising, maintaining a balance between quality and quantity becomes more complicated.

Fig: 2 — Rising housing prices globally concern students can’t evade — An impression

The need for better student housing

Among the various crises that the world is facing right now, housing is a big part of it. Housing Solutions for the homeless, migrants, refugees, poor people, students, and so on are being actively sought after. But in this priority list, the authority is scrambling to find solutions for the larger sections of society, while the needs of the comparatively smaller crowd of students may go unnoticed.

In countries like the Philippines, the authorities are pitching ideas for condominium and dormitory-type housing for students to foreign stakeholders, as the high demand for such accommodations in the country makes it a beneficial investment. So, while the economic front is being taken care of, the reliance on architects and designers has increased to achieve high-standard spatial design for student-accommodations.

What role can architects play in achieving improved living quality in student accommodations?

Fig: 3 — Student housing — Rotterdam (Credits: Meccano)

Brief of the Competition

Brief: The challenge of the architecture competition is to design a student housing community that caters to its function as well as the psychological needs of its residents.

The main challenge to be addressed is to find ways of making the design economical but in a pleasing way. This housing must be designed to cater to a diverse group of students, so an inclusive approach is expected in planning the access and layout.

The units must be designed in a modular manner so that they promote equality. The customization will be left over to its users. The function of the housing must be achieved in an innovative spatial design with a good form aesthetic. Creating safe and comfortable spaces must be a top priority.

Community housing is all about group living and it is necessary to provide ample opportunity to occupants to engage with nature as well as their peers. Isolation and depression are common issues with students and this can be tackled with social design.

Design Objectives

  • Modular: Units should be of uniform size in their respective categories.
  • Context: The site conditions and location will play a major role in the design of the community
  • Economical: the design proposed must offer an economical solution for student housing.
  • Efficient: functionality balanced with aesthetics, creativity, and comfort achieved with minimal resources and smart solutions/interventions
  • Social: the design must provide spaces for community interaction, gatherings, and events.


Fig.4 — Site Plan

Manila is the most densely populated city in the world. A population of more than 22 million lives on urban land of 1400 square kilometers. The city has a huge population of students who are enrolled in institutes and universities, but the high density and demand are creating a shortage of living accommodations.

The site is located in the Pandacan region of Manila and is located close to the neighborhood universities that act as an advantage for the location of such a provision. The site has the Pasig river to the north providing an additional vista.

  • Site area — 6478 sqm
  • Max. Builtup Area — 2 x (Site Area)
  • Ground coverage — 35%
  • Height Restriction — 22m (Underground construction not permitted)
  • Coordinates — https://goo.gl/maps/9FKFnpFiTqWwiYXk6

Area program

The facility must be provided to accommodate 300 beds in twin sharing (Max. Area — 20sqm./each x 150 units) and 75 beds in a solo studio with an attached bathroom (Max. Area — 27.5sqm./each x 75 units). Twin sharing rooms will utilize common toilets on the floor. Amenities required such as a community hall, recreational activities and sports areas must also be included. Any extra spaces that can be provided within area limits. Focus on the context must be given. Parking spaces for 300 Scooters/Moped — and 50 Cars to be included within site. (Area designation will be sufficient, you do not require to plan parking by individual units)

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this page: Turf | Housing Competition on UNI | About

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Originally published at https://uni.xyz.




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