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A whole systems approach to spatial design




Safe housing for returning refugees and a city fabric that enables healing
Homs, Syria

CATEGORY: Urban Design, Housing,

Post War Re-construction

At the root of our project of providing safe and solid housing solutions to the returning refugees of Syria, lies the idea of the inhabitants not only rebuilding their own cities, gradually and organically, but also reclaiming and redefining their streets


The housing solution foreseen does not involve demolishing the ruins and erasing the past, rather the concept accepts the brutal poetry of the ruins and reclaims the streets, practically, gracefully and inclusively. The project seeks to bring people back to their homes and involve them in reconstructing their habitat, their city and their lives. Careful attention is paid to the much beloved pre-existing architecture and culture as well as the psychological context of returning to a broken cityscape.

The trauma of the past cannot be erased, but time can STRENGTHEN a person and creates new layers that OVERCOME the pain and ultimately weaves a new normal

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The design leaves ample room for local context and culture into the rebuilt city, the proposal conforms and retrofits to existing buildings. Respecting the Syrian lifestyle becomes vital to any new design proposition, and this lifestyle must manifest itself from within. The built space is intended for the end user- the returning citizen to make it their own.

The aspect of practicality has also been considered here; the design is simple, massive numbers of housing units can be introduced with speed and efficiency. The building process consolidates the existing building stock and its potential reuse.

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architecture; urban design
Nisha Mary Poulose
Shehla Hussain

structural engineering
Mathew Poulose


competition entry
Matter Better

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