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Refugee Housing: The Latest Architecture and News

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Announces Winners of the 2020-2022 Cycle

Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) announced the winners of the 2022 edition. From a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022), the six winners show examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Two projects from Bangladesh, one from Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, and Senegal, will share the UDS 1 million award, one of the largest in architecture.

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Drozdov & Partners is Transforming Schools into Temporary Shelters for Internally Displaced People in Ukraine

One of the most urgent problems faced by Ukrainians today is the unsettled situation faced by displaced citizens, along with the challenge of returning to the cities they were forced to abandon earlier this year. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has shared that efforts to rebuild Ukraine will require ‘colossal investments’, and as leaders gather to work out ‘Marshall plan’ to rebuild the country, local architects have already begun developing emergency housing, healthcare, and educational facilities in cities further away from the Russian border.

As a temporary solution to the displacement of north-eastern and eastern Ukrainians, Drozdov&Partners, together with Replus Bureau and Ponomarenko Bureau, have begun refurbishing shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lviv and its region, using school campuses and other large-scale facilities as temporary housing.

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Balbek Bureau Develops Temporary Housing Scheme for Displaced Ukrainians

Since the beginning of the war, over 7.1 million people have been internally displaced within Ukraine. In response to this growing humanitarian crisis, Kyiv-based practice Balbek Bureau has developed a modular temporary housing system that aims to provide a dignified dwelling to internally displaced Ukrainians. RE:Ukraine is designed to adapt to different types of terrain and settlement density while being deployed in a short time frame. While the project was intended for areas of Ukraine that are not under fire, the framework can also accommodate refugees abroad.

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Shigeru Ban Architects and Philippe Monteil Design Refugee Shelters in Kenya with the Support of UN-Habitat

Since 2017, UN-Habitat, together with Shigeru Ban Architects, Philippe Monteil and the NGO Voluntary Architects' Network, developed several shelter typologies for a pilot neighborhood in Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya. The Turkana Houses are meant to house South Sudanese and other refugees living in Northern Kenya who could not return to their original villages due to endless civil wars and conflicts. Unlike typical refugee shelters, these structures were meant to provide a home for long periods of displacement and the four typologies developed are informed by the extensive experience of Shigeru Ban Architects with disaster relief projects and the local building techniques of local people.

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

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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.

Archstorming Announces Winners of Mosul Postwar Camp Competition

Archstorming has announced the winners of their Open Ideas Competition: Mosul Postwar Camp. In the competition for architects and architecture students, the challenge was to design a social reintegration solution with essential humanitarian aid for people who return home to Mosul after the Iraq war against ISIS. The competition results proved there are many ways to revitalize the lives of displaced people through the spaces they inhabit.

Shigeru Ban to Design Up to 20,000 New Homes for Refugees in Kenya

Pritzker Prize winning architect Shigeru Ban has signed an agreement with UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency tasked with guiding sustainable development, to design up to 20,000 new homes for refugees in Kenya’s Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement. Currently home to more than 37,000 refugees, the settlement is quickly outgrowing its original capacity of 45,000 – over 17,000 have arrived this year alone, with numbers expected to continue to increase.

“The key thing will be to design and construct shelter where no or little technical supervision is required, and use materials that are locally available and eco-friendly. It’s important that the houses can be easily maintained by inhabitants.”

7 Architectural Solutions for Asylum Seekers Shown by the Finnish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

The 2016 Venice Biennale may have officially closed in November, but many of its constituent parts continue to have a life beyond the confines of Venice. From Border to Home, the exhibit hosted by the Finnish Pavilion, showcased the results of an international architecture competition between October and November of 2015 that called for residential solutions for asylum seekers that offer both short-term shelter for refugees and long-term impact on the surrounding community. Three winners and four honorable mentions were featured in the exhibition, accompanied by a blog that offered sustained dialogue on the topic from architects around the world. On March 21st, Finland's contribution to the Biennale will finally be concluded with a review of the Biennale's themes and a seminar on the pavilion, hosted in Helsinki. Read on to find out more about the winners and four mentions from the competition that were featured in Finland's From Border to Home pavilion.

DMOA's Maggie Shelter Provides Stable Facilities for Refugees

In light of recent refugee crises, Belgium-based architecture and engineering firm DMOA has become involved with The Maggie Program, an initiative to improve refugee shelter, education, and health through a new building concept.

Because most countries only allow for temporary settlements for refugees, the project centers around the Maggie Shelter, a temporary tent-like structure, that functions as a more substantial, fixed building. 

Abeer Seikaly’s Structural Fabric Shelters Weave Refugees’ Lives Back Together

Whether from political unrest or natural disaster, refugee crises around the world seem to fill the headlines of late. These events inspired interdisciplinary designer Abeer Seikaly’s conceptual emergency shelter, entitled “Weaving A Home,” which received a Lexus Design Award in 2013. The collapsible structural fabric shelter can adapt to various climates, while also providing the comforts of contemporary life such as heat, running water, and electricity.

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Emergency Floor: Help Refugees Worldwide "Get Off the Ground"

Millions of refugees across the globe, due to global conflict or natural phenomena, are forced to leave their homes and live in low-quality, temporary housing. The majority of these shelters lack a fundamental component of safety and well-being: floors. Emergency Floor is an initiative developed by Sam Brisendine and Scott Key to solve this problem, and bring safety to refugee shelters and the people in them. With their new Indiegogo campaign, Emergency Floor is working to provide efficient, inexpensive flooring that is directly geared towards assisting relief agencies.

Learn more about Emergency Floor after the break.

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Refugee Housing Unit Selected as Finalist for World Design Impact Prize

An IKEA prototype for a modular “Refugee Housing Unit” has been selected as one of three finalists for the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design’s (Icsid) World Design Impact Prize 2014. The pilot project was lauded for providing a “temporary shelter in which facilitates ‘a feeling of normality’ for families living in refugee camps.” The project will be measured against a “BioLite HomeStove” and “ABC Syringe” before an overall prize winner is announced. You can learn more about the unit here and preview the competing innovations here.