5 Jun 2017 — The first place winning team in the annual Visitability Home Design Contest, The Millennials, made up of Isabella Theberge, Nikita Bontra, Moataz Alhawidni and Mona Albalawi also hailed from the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) at the University of Bridgeport.
Third place went to Alanis Vega-Cruz and Meghan Kennedy, Team Megnis, of SASD, and fourth place went to SASD Studio 2A, made up of Amanda Stewart, Christiane Pina and Kelly Howard, of SASD.
The teams from Shintaro Akatsu School of Design were students of Professor Marsha Matto, ASID, Lecturer and Interior Design Chair.
Independence Unlimited, a Center for Independent Living in Hartford, CT, is bringing the idea of Visitability to Connecticut students through a Home Design contest that requires the inclusion of three simple changes in home design plans that would allow the home to meet the guidelines for a Visitable home.
Independence Unlimited, a Center for Independent Living, who helps people with severe disabilities, sponsored the 2016-2017 Visitability Home Design contest because they are concerned about the crisis in available, accessible housing in the Hartford area and are interested in increasing the number of minimally accessible single family homes available for purchase.
A home built under Visitability guidelines has one zero step entrance, wider doors and hallways, and a bath on the main floor large enough to be utilized by someone using a wheelchair. The challenge of the contest is to come up with Visitable home designs; plot plans and scale models, which are also aesthetically pleasing, suitable for area neighborhoods and practical to build.
The winners received cash prizes and all participants were given certificates of participation for their architectural portfolio.
This year’s judges were:
Amy Finke, Owner, Sugar Hill Building & Design, LLC;
Susan Bridgewater Odell, Senior Project Architect and Certified Passive House Consultant at Paul B. Bailey Architect, LLC;
Charles J. Emerson, Manager Multifamily Operations – Tech Services, CT Housing Finance Authority.
Contest prizes were presented at Independence Unlimited’s Annual Meeting held June 1, 2017 at the Chrysalis TCC Center, 255 Homestead Ave, Hartford, CT 06112.
— Sue Salters, Independence Unlimited