Architecture is supposed to provide shelter. In early 1999, nowhere was the need for shelter more critical than in the war-torn region of Kosovo. Hundreds of thousands were without a place to live. Their homes in ruins and the infrastructure of the region collapsed, the returning population needed immediate and highly-dispersed temporary housing.
Architecture for Humanity hosted an open competition to design five-year transitional housing for the returning people of Kosovo. The competition's goal was to foster the development of housing methods that would relieve suffering and speed the transition back to a normal way of life. Architects and designers from 30 different countries responded. We received more than 200 designs. From these, a jury selected 10 finalists and 20 notable entries.
The ten finalists were:
The Tree of Life Prototype by Basak & Mark Altan Schrimer of San Diego, CA;
The "Extreme Housing" Proposal by Deborah Gans & Matt Jelacic which was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Johnnie Walker 'Keep Walking' Fund;
The Air Pipe House by Hattori & Aihara of Tokyo, Japan;
An entry by LDA Architects with Whitby Bird & Partners of London, England. This design used a remarkable cage-like structural system which utilized rubble from destroyed homes to create a new brick-like building material, and was the first finalist to be transformed into a full-sized prototype;
An entry by Maeda & Yonekawa of Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan;
The entry by Nakamura & Koike of Tokyo, Japan which asked, "Why shouldn't housing for refugees be beautiful?"
Simplicity reigned with the entry by Ruimtelab, Linders & Van Dorssen of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The designers proposed giving a kit that included a mobile phone (to set up a communication network) and tools to help rebuild destroyed homes.
The Paper Loghouse by Shigeru Ban of Tokyo, Japan is a revised design for the cardboard tube homes he built for the earthquake victims of Kobe and refugees in Rwanda. This updated design included insulation and waterproofing to deal with the weather in Kosovo.
The Low-Tech Balloon System by Technocraft received a lot of attention due to its use of hemp as a building material.
Entry by Wonderland Productions of Paris, France.
Finalists: Transitional Housing Competition
Project posted by Kari Iverson