Solving a problem of our times
It’s perhaps a reflection on the complexity of the subject itself, that the judges of the 2017 SterlingOSB ‘MultiGen’ competition took longer than usual to come to a decision over which proposals should merit prizes. This, it transpires, is because the issues implicit in considering how one might create an environment where a number of generations can co-exist together perhaps run at odds with current societal norms. Students want to kick out, young families want room to grow and, despite increasing care demands, retired couples are still encouraged to aspire to newfound independence, free of familial obligations. But in a world where property prices are rising and homes are increasingly unaffordable, seriously considering how architects can negotiate the compromises in bringing such divergent interests back together again is no mean feat.
It was emotive among the judges too; one waiting to get on the housing ladder, another struggling with life in a micro-flat, another considering moving out of the old family home to let a daughter and her family move in. How to make this kind of living work revealed these vested interests, causing a great amount of debate, and we’d like to think our winners rose to the challenges that multi-generational living brought up.
Our thanks go to sponsor Norbord for helping stimulate this important debate; for in the end our winner seemed to offer a simple solution to this potentially complex problem. Well planned, materially economic, aesthetically pleasing and easily replicable, we felt the design produced a practical and workable response using SterlingOSB that at the same time had elegance and a lightness of touch. It seemed a delicate Chinese paper lamp, offering to shed soft light on how we might start to live in the future.
Jan-Carlos Kucharek Senior editor, RIBA Journal
In its third year, our collaboration with RIBA continues to inspire the Norbord team and our customers. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved; not least the architectural community which has embraced SterlingOSB so that it is now not only a building staple; it is a trendy, ‘designer’ board for all sorts of applications in the retail, commercial, hospitality and design sectors, to name a few.
So, once again, we have been thrilled and excited with the quality of the competition entries this year and the potential uses that lie ahead of us; so thank you.
Karl Morris Managing director, Norbord Europe Ltd