SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 9, 2021 – DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning (DAHLIN) is a grand award winner in the Salt Lake City Empowered Living Design Competition. DAHLIN's proposed prototype, MOD HIVE, responds to the existing character and context of Salt Lake City neighborhoods while paving the way for a future of increased housing diversity capable of supporting and serving the needs of a more inclusive community. The name, MOD HIVE, captures this spirit with the word "mod" referring both to the modular and modern design while "hive" is a nod to the beehive as the ubiquitous symbol for Utah, a symbol of strong community and social connection.
Together with the American Institute of Architects Utah Chapter and the Community Development Corporation of Utah, Salt Lake City launched the Empowered Living Design Competition because a lack of housing inventory has resulted in a significant increase in prices, making buying a home out of reach for many. According to recent data, the median home price in Salt Lake City County increased 17% over the past year, while the number of active listings along the Wasatch Front dropped between 11% and 32% over the same period. The competition invited cause-minded designers, architects and others to submit designs for small residences to help address the City's affordable housing shortage, judging entries based on five criteria: affordability, accessibility, sustainability, durability, and livability.
Designed to a real, existing site that is typical of Salt Lake City, the MOD HIVE lot configurations are flexible with a high degree of replicability across the city. The inward-looking site plan creates a tiny village with space for a community garden, outdoor gathering space, and barbecue/firepit to create a sense of place that encourages community. The design respects the overall feel and rhythm of a neighborhood of two-story single-family detached homes by starting with a complementary lower density at the front while higher densities are placed at the rear. MOD HIVE responds to the existing charming traditional architecture in Utah while paving the way for the future through a modern cottage architectural style featuring warm wood tones, clean lines, and dark windows to contrast with the siding materials. The steep roof pitches of the style allow for vaulted ceilings that help make these tiny homes feel larger than their square footage.
"A key objective for the MOD HIVE team was to create a highly flexible and cost-efficient prototype that is easily adaptable to a variety of sites and contexts while never sacrificing a sense of community," said DAHLIN Principal Brett Bailey. "This prototype works as a small cluster on one lot or a small, planned development consisting of multiple lots. This honor endorses our commitment to innovative, real design solutions that promote human fulfillment and well-being. We applaud the City for their commitment to cultivating an atmosphere of innovation to help solve homelessness and housing insecurity."
Winners were announced at an awards ceremony the evening of December 8, 2021 at The Shop SLC.
About DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning
DAHLIN is a diverse architecture and planning practice of 150+ multicultural professionals who share a Passion for Place®. The firm works with developers, municipalities, and private clients, focusing on numerous sectors including healthcare, senior living, civic markets and affordable housing. Since 1976, DAHLIN has been committed to excellence in design—best demonstrated through long-term client relationships and award-winning, financially successful and sustainable design solutions. The firm maintains locations in Salt Lake City, Utah; Irvine, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Diego, and Truckee, California; Bellevue, Washington; and Beijing and Shanghai, China. Visit: www.dahlingroup.com.