August 09, 2023

MHOA Tiny Victories (200 Sq Ft)

Austin, TX // 200 Sq Ft // $50,000

In Austin, Texas, the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA) undertook an inspiring project in collaboration with Community First! Village. Their task was to design a 200-square-foot home that would provide a sense of security and foster a strong community connection within the village.

MHOA recognized the importance of creating a home that felt familiar and comforting to its resident. Instead of pursuing an avant-garde architectural design, the team opted for traditional forms with slight modifications. The focal point of the design was an off-centered, hip roof topped with a flat-topped, glass cupola. This distinctive feature not only allowed natural light to permeate the home but also acted as a symbolic lantern, illuminating the community during the evening hours. It served as a powerful embodiment of communication, community, and fellowship, emphasizing the sense of togetherness within the village.

The incorporation of the glass cupola as a central element in the design conveyed a strong visual message of community and belonging. It served as a constant reminder to the residents that they were part of a larger collective, fostering a deep sense of connection. MHOA understood that their role extended beyond the creation of physical structures; they aimed to cultivate an environment that nurtured a profound sense of belonging and support.

The design by MHOA goes beyond mere aesthetics, acknowledging the emotional impact that architecture can have on individuals who have experienced homelessness. By integrating familiar architectural elements and the unique glass cupola, the design provided a sense of security, community, and belonging. It created a space where residents could truly feel at home and part of a supportive community.

The collaboration between the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and Community First! Village resulted in a transformative design that addressed the need for security and a strong community connection. This project exemplifies the power of architecture to positively impact the lives of individuals who have experienced homelessness, offering them a place where they can find solace, support, and a true sense of belonging.

Images © Leonid Furmansky

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