Collapsable skyscraper for disaster zones wins conceptual design competition

A team of Polish architects designed this concept for a foldable skyscraper that could be delivered by helicopter to offer relief in remote disaster zones. The collapsable tower named Skyshelter.zip was designed by Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa, and Piotr Pańczyk, and has been named the winner of this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition. The flattened structure is designed to be

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World Building of the Year 2017 could help 100 million people, says Edward Ng

This award-winning prototype house developed for a Chinese village destroyed by earthquake could protect millions of people around the world, claims architecture professor Edward Ng in this movie Dezeen filmed at World Architecture Festival 2017. The rammed-earth house was designed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and a team of seismic design experts at the University

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“Urban design caused the Hurricane Harvey disaster”

Houston’s poor urban planning, not climate change, is to blame for the catastrophic flooding following Hurricane Harvey, says disaster expert Ilan Kelman in this Opinion column. Hurricane Harvey was a major storm with extensive rainfall. It was not a natural disaster. The disaster was caused by human decisions to live in a hurricane zone without

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Architecture students build latticed-wood community centre in German refugee camp

Architecture students from Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern have built this wooden community centre for a refugee camp in Mannheim, which is fronted by a latticed screen. The pavilion, designed by students Sandra Gressung, Sascha Ritschel and Tobias Vogel, provides a sheltered communal area for refugees arriving in the camp located on the former US Army’s Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim. Eighteen students from

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Renzo Piano to lead recovery plan following Italian earthquake

Architect Renzo Piano has been called upon to lead reconstruction efforts in towns left devastated by the earthquake that struck central Italy last week, and to mitigate against future disasters. Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi asked Piano, 78, to play a leading role in the reconstruction of the towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, after they were hit More

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Shigeru Ban joins disaster relief effort following Ecuador earthquake

Shigeru Ban has travelled to Ecuador to help with disaster relief, following a major earthquake that has caused the death of over 650 people. Ban – who was previously worked on disaster recovery projects all around the world – arrived in the South American republic earlier this week to offer his support. According to the College of Architects of Ecuador Provincial More

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Architects for Society designs low-cost hexagonal shelters for refugees

Minnesota-based Architects for Society has developed a prototype for a rapidly deployable dwelling that could house victims of catastrophic events (+ slideshow). Called the Hex House, the 431-square-foot (40-square-metre) unit is largely made of steel-and-foam Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which can be flat-packed and delivered by truck to a building site. The design is meant to More

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Klein Dytham builds latticed community hall for Toyo Ito’s post-earthquake recovery programme

Five years after the devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, Klein Dytham Architecture has unveiled a community hall for recovering city Sōma, designed to look like a huge straw hat (+ slideshow). The Sōma City Home for All is one of 13 community facilities completed so far as part of the recovery programme initiated by Japanese architect Toyo More

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Refugee tents are a waste of money, says Alejandro Aravena

Tents are a quick response to the need for emergency shelter, but “it’s money that melts” says Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 director Alejandro Aravena. Investing in less temporary disaster-relief shelters should be seen as “payment in advance” for a long-term solution to the world’s housing shortages, said the Chilean architect and founder of architecture studio […]

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Jun Sekino replaces earthquake-damaged school in Thailand with stilted classrooms

Bangkok-based architect Jun Sekino designed these elevated classrooms in northern Thailand in response to a severe earthquake, which destroyed the school’s original building (+ slideshow). The earthquake struck Chiang Rai Province in May 2014, ruining 73 schools and leaving over 2,000 students without classrooms. A programme was set up by charity Design for Disasters (D4D) to build nine […]

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Earthquake-resistant school in Thailand raised up on stilts by Vin Varavarn Architects

Built in the wake of an earthquake, this secondary school in northern Thailand by Vin Varavarn Architects is shaped like a roof and raised above the ground on metal stilts (+ slideshow). A severe earthquake hit the Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand in May 2014, destroying 73 schools and displacing over 2,000 students. Disaster-relief charity Design for Disasters responded by launching […]

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Vo Trong Nghia Architects’ low-cost housing moves towards mass production

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Vietnam-based Vo Trong Nghia Architects has unveiled a fourth prototype of its low-cost housing design, which is now moving towards mass production (+ slideshow). The S House – a project that has been ongoing since it was first unveiled in 2012 – was developed by Vo Trong Nghia’s studio in response to Vietnam’s housing crisis. […]

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SURI modular housing system provides emergency shelter for refugees

This adaptable shelter system is providing temporary housing for refugees displaced by conflict in their home countries. Designed by building initiative Suricatta Systems, the Shelter Unit for Rapid Installation (SURI) is both easy to transport and assemble, while still functioning as a comfortable habitat for individuals and families. Originally designed to provide shelter after earthquakes, the system […]

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“These initiatives represent an opportunistic desire to play with extreme conditions”

Opinion: architects’ proposals for pre-empting and adapting to the natural crises brought about by climate change aren’t necessarily as superficial and politically correct as they may seem, says Mimi Zeiger. I couldn’t sleep last night. LA was having another heatwave and rather than lay awake I read a back issue of The New Yorker, catching […]

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“When I said architects should get involved in humanitarian issues, people laughed at me”

Exclusive interview: Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair describes the work he is conducting in Syria with his latest venture, and tells Dezeen that he’ll “die happy” knowing that he will never win the Pritzker Prize (+ transcript). Sinclair, 41, is a self-branded pioneer of a “new wave of humanitarian design” and has dedicated his […]

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Designnobis proposes pop-up disaster relief shelter for earthquake-affected families

Turkish creative consultancy Designnobis has devised a temporary shelter that could be easily transported and quickly assembled to house those displaced by natural disasters (+ slideshow). Hakan Gürsu of Designnobis created the Tentative shelter after noticing the lack of available temporary housing following earthquakes in his native Turkey. He was also spurred by the statistic […]

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Shigeru Ban designs modular shelters for Nepal earthquake victims

Shigeru Ban has unveiled his designs for modular housing structures to accommodate those made homeless by the two devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal earlier this year. The Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect – who has previously worked on disaster relief projects in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan – has developed a prototype structure for the victims of the April and May […]

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Prototype shelter for Nepal earthquake victims could be built by unskilled workers in three days

A team of architects used metal sheets and bamboo to build this prototype shelter for victims of the Nepal earthquake, and have also produced a manual so that the design can be replicated by others. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless by the earthquake that struck Nepal in April this year, prompting architects […]

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Article 25 faces insolvency following £200,000 of unaccounted spending

Architecture charity Article 25 has launched an urgent appeal for donations to avoid insolvency, after discovering a £200,000 hole in its accounts. UK-based Article 25, which was set up in 2004 to provide architecture in areas affected by disaster, has been responsible for providing sanitation facilities in Haiti and a school in Sierra Leone. But the charity has now been forced […]

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Ikea’s flat-pack refugee shelters go into production

Ikea is producing 10,000 of its flat-pack temporary shelters designed for refugees made homeless by conflict and natural disasters (+ slideshow). The Ikea Foundation will supply the Better Shelter units to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which will distribute them globally to displaced families and communities later this year. “Putting refugee families and their […]

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Architecture for Humanity co-founders “deeply saddened” as charity’s head office closes

News: charitable organisation Architecture for Humanity has closed its San Francisco headquarters and laid off its staff after apparently being unable to continue funding humanitarian projects. Co-founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, who ran the organisation from 1999 to 2013, responded to the “sad news” in an email yesterday. “We just heard the news that Architecture for Humanity, the organisation we started […]
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Ikea’s refugee housing is “unusually sensitive and intelligent” says Alice Rawsthorn

News: Ikea’s flat-pack refugee shelters, which have now been tested in Ethiopia and Iraq, have been described by design critic Alice Rawsthorn as being part of “one of the most important design developments of the past decade” (+ slideshow). The lightweight prototype shelter, developed by the Ikea Foundation alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), was among the projects […]
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