UAE based architects Mouaz Abouzaid, Bassel Omara and Ahmed Hammad have designed a shipping container housing project for Cairo, Egypt. Dubbed ‘Sheltainer’, the project aims to address a need for low-income, student and refugee housing. The design focuses on Egyptian life around a single house unit with all the necessary needs for a small family. Sheltainer aims to offer a flexible solution with new open spaces, activities and homes.
Sheltainer looks to support refugees, asylum seekers, students and people of low income jobs by using a standard 20ft container, as well as a smaller 10ft variety and larger 40ft crates for its structures. Individual house units are combined into a cluster that serves as a small neighborhood of 8 homes surrounding a green courtyard. Units can be adapted to different environments due to the container's ability to provide excellent insulation and flexibility. The team originally highlighted two countries to focus on: Syria, where more than half the population has been displaced, and South Sudan, where the refugee population swelled from 854,100 to more than 1.4 million during the second half of 2016. This year, the team has taken the scheme further to address housing problems in Egypt.
“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. People are connected to their homeland. Growing up in an environment with family and friends fuels people’s souls with a promising future. But being forced out [of homes] due to starvation, the economy, or even politics creates insecurity," the architects said. "Twenty people are newly displaced every minute, and that becomes a challenge to provide a stable community that can cope with these rapid changes.” Sheltainer looks at the informal market Souk Al Jumaa as it serves the daily needs of the residential community there.