Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

A school of architectural thinking

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SCI-Arc & Habitat LA to Start IVRV House Construction in June

By sciarcnews
Apr 22, '15 5:32 PM EST
IVRV House, SCI-Arc/Habitat LA Housing Project, Summer 2015
IVRV House, SCI-Arc/Habitat LA Housing Project, Summer 2015

In September 2014, SCI-Arc and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles announced the start of a strategic partnership tackling innovative ways to redevelop neglected properties in LA and design low-income homes that would positively impact their communities.

During fall, a group of graduate and undergraduate students at SCI-Arc spent their semester in studio coming up with inexpensive and simultaneously inventive design concepts for both a single family home and a duplex. Sixteen schematic designs presented in mid-term reviews were narrowed down to five, following which students regrouped to work on refining the selected proposals.

A jury made of SCI-Arc faculty and industry leaders voted during final reviews in early December and picked the IVRV House—short for Inverse Reverse House—as the winning design to be built in summer 2015. What impressed the jury was the IVRV team’s creative approach exploring the relationship and blur between indoor and outdoor areas while addressing the necessity for private space.

This past spring, the students’ focus shifted to the construction documentation and prototyping phase of the project. But perhaps a more pressing issue the team had to address was the urgency to raise additional funds and in-kind support to enable them to build the house in one summer. In parallel with their design studio work, students initiated an aggressive fundraising campaign to help secure funds and in-kind contributions to bring their project to life. A highlight of their outreach is an initiative to raise $50,000 on crowd funding website Indiegogo, a campaign that runs through May 15.

Construction of the IVRV House starts June 1 on a site located in the unincorporated neighborhood of Westmont in Los Angeles. Students will be joined in their efforts by a group of trained volunteers from Habitat LA. The team is expected to complete the home by September, with the entire cost being funded through donations and in-kind sponsorships. Once complete, the home will be transferred to a Los Angeles family through Habitat LA’s established low-income housing program, and will serve as a prototype for employing non-generic solutions to affordable home design. The program’s goal is not merely to build an individual home, but to test new grounds for design innovation and ultimately help evolve and extend Habitat LA’s standard model of affordable housing.

Learn more about the project at