Architect: Kevin Daly Architects

Owner: CityLAB (UCLA)

Location: Los Angeles, California

Category: Under 5,000 square feet (category three)

Developed in response to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call for the creation of 100,000 new housing units by 2021, this prototype backyard home is a lightweight, recyclable and customizable accessory dwelling unit that recognizing that one solution to the region’s housing crisis might be found in our own backyards.

BI(h)OME is an experimental prototype lightweight accessory dwelling unit. Based on research and policy initiatives of UCLA’s City LAB, the design was led by Kevin Daly Architects with design collaboration and fabrication by UCLA Architecture graduate students. The prototype demonstrates -- in its design, fabrication, occupation, and recycling -- what sustainability means at an individual level. Low-cost, low-impact it can serve as housing for an elderly parent, a returning college graduate, or a rental unit in any of the 500,000 single family parcels in Los Angeles. Each 500-square foot BI(h)OME contains a bedroom, living room, kitchen/dining room, and bathroom. Its structure is covered with an innovative translucent skin consisting of two layers of ETFE that is vacuum-sealed around a paper honeycomb creating a remarkably solid, yet light structure. The structure can be configured in different ways to fit any backyard and to catch the sun on photovoltaic cells that can be printed on the outside layer of the skin, while LED lights can be built into the inner layer.

"It is very ambitious and very forward thinking. Worthy effort" ~ Jury comment

Additional information

Team leaders, concept development, and executive producer: cityLAB – UCLA, Dana Cuff, Per-Johan Dahl

Architect: Kevin Daly Architects, Kevin Daly, Peter Nguyen

Engineer- structural: Workpoint Engineering, Ben Varela

Industrial design: Kody Kellogg  UCLA AUD Student Team Andrew Akins Garth Britzman Dee Chang Katie Chuh Ciro Dimson Adrien Forney Kara Moore Dami Olufoweshe Lyo Liu Trenman Yao Sarah Sibohan Johnson Mark Lagola Nawid Piracha  

Project fabricators: Julian Daly Max Miller  

Contractors - Custom carpentry and woodwork: CA Construction

Envelope: Shrink Wrap Pros

UCLA faculty and staff AUD fabrication manager: Philip Soderlind UCLA Facilities Management Team Leroy Sisneros, Coordinator  


Carolyn Adams, AIA (Chair), Carolyn Adams Architecture PLLC, Kirkland, Washington

Michael Antenora, AIA, Antenora Architects LLP, Austin, Texas  

Steve Kordalski, AIA, Kordalski Architects Inc., Cleveland, Ohio

Brandon Frazier Pace, AIA, Sanders Pace Architecture LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee

Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA, Merge Architects, Inc.,Boston, Massachusetts

Image credits


Nico Marques


Nico Marques


Nico Marques


Nico Marques


Nico Marques


Nico Marques


Nico Marques