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Refugee: The Latest Architecture and News

Beyond Refugee Housing: 5 Examples of Social Infrastructure for Displaced People

© Y. Meiri © CatalyticAction © Filippo Bolognese © Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha + 6

Throughout human history, the movement of populations–in search of food, shelter, or better economic opportunities–has been the norm rather than the exception. Today, however, the world is witnessing unprecedented levels of displacement. The United Nations reports that 68.5 million people are currently displaced from their homes; this includes nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of eighteen. With conflicts raging on in countries like Syria and Myanmar, and climate change set to lead to increased sea levels and crop failures, the crisis is increasingly being recognised as one of the foundational challenges of the twenty-first century.

While emergency housing has dominated the discourse surrounding displacement in the architecture industry, it is critical for architects and planners to study and respond to the socio-cultural ramifications of population movements. How do we build cities that are adaptive to the holistic needs of fluid populations? How do we ensure that our communities absorb refugees and migrants into their local social fabric?

This World Refugee Day, let’s take a look at 5 shining examples of social infrastructure from around the world–schools, hospitals, and community spaces–that are specifically directed at serving displaced populations.

Reimagining Cities in the Face of Climate Change and Migration

Migration as a result of changing climate has already begun. And while this poses enormous challenges for governments - particularly at a global moment that seems indisposed towards immigration and immigrants - there is also the concern that heritage will inevitably be lost. In places like Scotland, rising sea levels have put ancient sites at risk; the same is the case in island nations in the Pacific. As mounting environmental risks become more inevitable day by day, cities around the world are turning to more resilient forms of architecture and urban planning to combat both short term shocks and longer term pressures as a means of ensuring their future.

DeltaSync's floating geodesic domes propose an alternative space for human habitation and food production. Architect Vincent Callebaut's "Lilypad" project is a multi-use, floating ecopolis that is intended to house up to 50,000 climate refugees per floating structure. Manhattan will construct a massive wall and park to guard against rising sea levels, providing adaptable and interactive public spaces in the process.. ImageCourtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group Copenhagen-based firm SLA's "The Soul of Nørrebro" is an integrated climate adaption project that transforms the city's Hans Tavsens Park into a rainwater catching basin that will help irrigate the city and combat urban heat island effect.. Image© SLA / Beauty and the Bit + 11

CODE Works with Refugees to Create PLUG-IN Collective Space for the Dutch Embassy in Berlin

A team of architecture students at the CODE department of the TU Berlin have built PLUG-IN, a pavilion addressing the Home not Shelter! Initiative. Built as a collaborative process between students and refugees, the pavilion was realized under the direction of Prof. Ralf Pasel and his team. PLUG-IN physically expands the living space to creates a responsive project that goes beyond housing needs. The project was specifically proposed and built for the Dutch Embassy in Berlin.

PLUG-IN. Image © Johannes Belz PLUG-IN. Image © Johannes Belz PLUG-IN. Image © Johannes Belz PLUG-IN. Image © Johannes Belz + 28

Modular Installation Provides Temporary Housing For Refugees Beneath Paris Bridge

Courtesy of 1week1project
Courtesy of 1week1project

As hundreds of refugees continue to arrive in Paris, France, the city faces an ongoing struggle to find safe and suitable housing for the influx of migrants. As a result, many end up sleeping in underused urban spaces or on the side of the road with almost no access to water, sanitation, and food.

In response, Paris- and Santiago-based firm 1week1project in collaboration with Sophie Picoty unveil their design for a speculative public park titled “Illuminate Paris!” beneath an elevated railway bridge to provide additional support for organizations handling the influx of refugees. This modular “field of experiences” features a series of lantern-like environments forming a canopy along the underside of the bridge that allows for much-need space for migrants who are currently forced to sleep in encampments under similar infrastructure and in parks.

Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project Courtesy of 1week1project + 11