Tiny Homes Competition

AIA Chicago 

February 2016, Chicago IL


Stefanos Ziras

Eleni Papadimitriou



”Primordial” is a proposal for the creation of a small scale community that provides temporary, yet comfortable homes for the homeless youth of the city of Chicago. It is sanctuary for young adults that were forced to deal with the harsh side of life too early in their lives.  The individual units are arranged on the site in a way so as to create a whole where the parts although identical and connected in terms of structure achieve differentiation, individuality and an effortless liveliness that provokes a sense of belonging.

The adjoining units, some placed on small hills breaking the monotony of the flat landscape, create small neighborhoods with paved courtyards where inhabitants can gather. The primordial nature of this projects derives from the fundamental need to find shelter and be part of a community. The shape of the units is the shape children draw when wanting to depict home; it is archetypical, it is basically the symbol of home and therefore resonates in our memory. It gives comfort through its familiarity and stands for our need to have a safe, warm place to return to and a close knit community of friends to offer support. The materials underline this statement while creating an ambient, homey atmosphere bathed in diffused light.

Although “Primordial” gravitates around a solid inner center, an inward movement to build a safe place the fine eye can notice the use of brick and the low wall annotating the openness towards the surrounding neighborhood and the heritage of the area.