The Tall House

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Fig: 1 – Housing congestion in Hong Kong / Mandy Choi


Homes have evolved from caves to condo apartments. The latter might be wrapped in better interiors, but they serve similar needs. The quality of our homes was realized with social conditioning and then eventually through standards of living. More than the growing demands of specific housing typologies to live in, people wanting to live in urban cities have increased. Although, due to space constraints and poor infrastructure planning, the available houses/residential quarters in major cities are already the bare minimum in increased prices.

The problem of inadequate living spaces or non-existent housing has given rise to a housing crisis globally. While overpopulation is an increasing issue, cities remain prime locations for the economic and social development of cities. How can we adjust habitation for millions of people? Through creative thinking can we convert the existing condition into something more practical and affordable?

Fig: 2 – Cage Homes / Tim Lau


Today, more than 55% of the world's population lives in urban spaces and the ratio is expected to increase by tenfold in coming years.
Moreover, a shift towards rising incomes, jobs, lifestyles and standard of living has given rise to migration and in turn, resulted in overcrowding of major cities.
Due to land constraints and space crunch, there is an evident quality change in urban housing and residential spaces.

Since architecture plays a great role in shaping our ergonomics and well-being, this quality of space is affecting our daily functions.
While living in cities is essential for half of the population due to its benefits, what can be done to make that living better?

Can architecture help to improve living through optimization of available spaces?

Fig: 3 – T-noise / Katsutoshi Sasaki + associates


Due to the rapid growth in infrastructure in urban areas, space sizes and even more basic functions like working and living are decreasing. Instead of managing and adjusting ourselves, can we explore this dwindle through other dimensions?

Brief: The challenge is to design a residence on a plot size of 40 sqm. The residence is to be designed for a family of 4, without compromising on the quality of spaces. The residence should comprise a parking space.

Participants are free to assume their users. The participants are to make a client brief to understand the individual requirements. User individuality needs to be maintained in the residence. Design spaces that define the occupation, hobby etc. It can be as tiny as a window-side seat to read a book etc.

Design spaces that enrich the environment and not make it claustrophobic.


Quality: Manifest quality spaces with ample natural light and ventilation.

Basics: Areas to serve the basics: Sleeping, eating, sanitation.

Imagination: Rethink the design of everyday activities.

Modularity: Provide modular solutions.