7.2%… is the number of Europeans that won’t be in contact, not even once a year, with friends or loved ones. This percentage is even greater in France, 12%. Human beings are meant to interact with one another and that is why there are so many examples of communities throughout our different societies and throughout history.
Solitude is at the root of many different health issues: stroke, myocardial infarction, cancer and depression. Scientific studies have shown that these different diseases are worsened by social isolation. Taking this in to consideration, the fight against social isolation is that much more important because it is a major issue of public health.
What solutions can help recreate the desire to be socially active and that will help tear down the walls set up to hinder human contact? That is the question that the French non for profit association Happy Homes is asking and believes that companion animals are an incredible opportunity to fight against isolation especially because our furry friends need us.
Although it may be difficult to obtain reliable numbers from the different associations helping animals, the compilation of the different data is alarming. More than 100,000 companion animals were abandoned in 2019 in France alone. The SPA relates that more than half of the animals were abandoned just before the summer holidays.
As Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”…It is time to act.
Happy Homes goal is to respond to these two different problems with one solution. It is known for some time now that companion animals are capable of breaking down the barriers of isolation and of giving people a purpose again.
The association’s purpose is to build homes called “Happy Homes” that will house people living in social isolation as well as adopting abandoned dogs. The principle is humans and dogs mutually helping each other. The community created around these homes will integrate them into local communities/villages by means of different activities that reinforce social bonds such as the elaboration and sale of different baked goods, exhibit, selling merchandise as well as many other diverse activities…
The goal of Happy Homes is to test this concept by way of the construction of a test home that was conceptualized by an architectural competition where the winner’s design will be built. If the project works, the design/home will be replicated in other locations.
In this context, ARCHsharing in collaboration with Happy Homes is proposing the “Happy Homes France” competition.
ARCHsharing proposes, in partnership with the association Happy Homes, the construction of the perfect housing, sustainable and replicable allowing the hosting of 6 persons and sheltering up to 8 animals. The proposal will also need to allow the development of many activities to reinforce the development of social interactions between the residents and the city or the village that will welcome this community.
The activities can be free proposition from the contestant depending on the scenario they are proposing.
Construction + 3000€ + Magazines + Publications
Lan – Rintala Eggertsson Architects + Alventosa Morell arquitectes + elii
The program proposes two phases, the first one for the construction of the housing, the shelter and the activity spaces. After that an exterior design will be developed collaborating with the people leaving in the house. All the phases have to be thought simultaneously for the competition.