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Rural Urban Framework Brings Urban Amenities to Ulaanbaatar's Tent Cities

09:30 - 5 March, 2016
Rural Urban Framework Brings Urban Amenities to Ulaanbaatar's Tent Cities, Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework
Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework

Home to vast geographic features like the Gobi Desert, Mongolia is not a country associated with its urban environment. But after economic reforms following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the discovery of vast reserves of coal, gold and copper, a large portion of Mongolia’s historically nomadic society has recently begun to settle down, particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where nearly half of the country’s 3 million residents now live.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure of the city hasn’t yet had a chance to catch up to these rapid growth patterns, resulting in sprawling slum-like settlements consisting mainly of traditional felt tents - known as gers - encircling the city. Civic buildings throughout these neighborhoods are rare, and even travelling within the city is difficult due to the lack of official maps.

Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework +26

Rural Urban Framework Wins 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize

09:47 - 1 October, 2015
Rural Urban Framework Wins 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize, The courtyard community space in the interior of Andong Village’s charitable hospital.. Image © Rural Urban Framework (RUF)
The courtyard community space in the interior of Andong Village’s charitable hospital.. Image © Rural Urban Framework (RUF)

Rural Urban Framework (RUF) has been named winner of the 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. Addressing China's unprecedented rural-to-urban migration, RUF has (so far) helped 18 depopulating villages throughout the country prepare for their inevitable transformation by building schools, community centers, hospitals, houses and infrastructure in a collaborative process that empowers locals. 

“The work of RUF is addressing one of the most urgent current geopolitical issues, how to deal with the imbalances created by large mass migrations,” said Emiliano Gandolfi, the Prize Director. “Their work is exemplifying how architecture should establish a dialogue with the community and the environment in order to built structures that respond to their changing needs.”