Pop-up Befriending Kitchen unites refugees and asylum seekers in London

March 8, 2018 by  
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Merrett Houmøller Architects designed a pop-up kitchen that not only addresses social change, but is also a clever take on modular architecture with wheels. Created for RIBA’s Beyond Borders design competition, Befriending Kitchen was created to bring young asylum seekers and refugees together with weekly meals. Compact enough for mobile travel, the pop-up unit contains kitchen facilities as well as storage for folding tables and benches. Merrett Houmøller Architects’ Befriending Kitchen was born from the Refugees and Befriending Project, run by British Red Cross volunteers and staff. The new pop-up dining facility brings a colorful refresh to the project (previously run out of an office) and is decorated with bright graphics inspired by nautical signal flags. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London Befriending Kitchen unpacks into two separate units that bookend a dining area made up of folding benches and tables seating up to 30 people. The kitchen facilities include a gas hob, sink, counter space, and trash disposal . The project is currently located in the courtyard of the British Red Cross’ Hackney destitution center in east London . + Merrett Houmøller Architects Via Dezeen Images © Francis Ware 2017

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Pop-up Befriending Kitchen unites refugees and asylum seekers in London

The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees

June 22, 2017 by  
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Unlike the United States of America, the prison population and crime rate in the Netherlands has been steadily decreasing for years. As a result, the country’s government is repurposing correctional facilities into housing for refugees who are waiting to be granted asylum status — a process that usually takes a minimum of six months. Not only will the refugees not be required to work, they will be supplied with educational materials to learn Dutch, ride bicycles and build connections within the local community. After the number of migrants exceeded 50,000 in one year alone in the Netherlands, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) proposed a solution for the overflow of refugees: transform empty prisons into temporary housing for families and individuals escaping war. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and photographer Muhammed Muheisen captured the scoop by dedicating the past two years to photographing the refugee crisis as people traversed across continents. After hearing rumors that penitentiaries were being converted to house migrants in the Netherlands, his interest was piqued. He told National Geographic , “I didn’t exactly understand. I thought they feel like they are in prisons.” Related: Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands After waiting six months to get permission to visit the prison and take photos, Muheisen spent 40 days touring three different facilities, meeting residents and documenting their lives. “We’re talking about dozens of nationalities,” he said. “Dozens. The whole world is under this dome.” The refugees will be able to live in the centers for a minimum of six months and are free to come and go as they please. Additionally, they are supplied with resources needed to acclimate to the new country, learn Dutch and even ride bicycles. According to one Syrian man, the prison gives him hope for his future. The refugee told Muheisen, “If a country has no prisoners to put in jail, it means this is the safest country that I want to be living in.” Via National Geographic Images via Wikipedia , Wikimedia

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The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees

Finnish pavilion sparks debate about the surge of asylum seekers in Europe

May 30, 2016 by  
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Curated by Marco Steinberg, the Finnish Pavilion takes on a simple and pragmatic boxy shape painted with a blue-white color scheme reminiscent of the country’s flag colors. The pavilion opened its doors last week with conversations that delved into current issues, housing solutions , and pathways to integration. Related: “Refugees Welcome” is the sharing economy’s response to the crisis in Europe “Today, Europe’s challenge is less about building new cities than about transforming existing ones to create a more balanced and inclusive society,” said Steinberg. “In this context, architecture must regain its capacity to shape not just the design of buildings, but also the design of social solutions. By combining these two capacities, architecture can help crystallize the principles of better housing.” The Finnish Pavilion’s competition exhibition will be supported by a series of events held throughout the Biennale. + Museum of Finnish Architecture Images via Museum of Finnish Architecture , © ALT architects

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Finnish pavilion sparks debate about the surge of asylum seekers in Europe

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