OSB Low Rise High Density
MawsonKerr Architects’ interlocking, OSB Low Rise High Density housing best embodies the spirit of the competition, evoking Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 while integrating SterlingOSB’s qualities to create an incredibly social housing form.
The base block is a modular unit that is cleverly arranged to create flexible and robust communities. The 4.8m x 4.8m units, derived from the dimensions of a single sheet of SterlingOSB, can be stacked to create a two-storey home or placed side by side as a single-storey dwelling.
These arrangements enable an impressive 115 homes, each with its own front door and external private space, to be built per hectare.
Utilising prefabrication and CNC techniques, these homes can be built quickly and easily by unskilled labour. This means the proposals have real potential to allow individuals to build their own homes as part of community self-build projects.
From the macro to the micro, MawsonKerr’s scheme was incredibly well thought out. Internally, the lacquered SterlingOSB-clad spaces are divided onto a 600mm grid to allow window and door openings to be prefabricated alongside furniture built into the wall voids – another clever use of space.
Of all the proposals, the judges felt that MawsonKerr’s was the one where the designers had best understood the material they were working with.
Not only does the scheme have the potential to create affordable and interesting dwellings, but its reconfigurable nature means it can be implemented on numerous different sites.
‘MawsonKerr understood that you can create a bespoke component from a sheet of OSB and a CNC machine and make that component interesting and useful, while performing several tasks at once,’ said judge Tim Lucas.
‘The vertical structural studs that integrated fitted furniture into the profile are a great example of this.’