Innovation That Matters

Drozdov & Partners are re-purposing large public buildings like sports halls for refugees | Photo source Drozdov & Partners

Community buildings repurposed as multi-use shelters for war refugees

Property & Construction

Separate bays and communal kitchens provide privacy and respite for individuals and families

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Spotted: With so much destruction already blighting the country, Ukrainian architecture company Drozdov & Partners focuses on using recycled, recyclable, and modular designs for temporary shelters for internally displaced persons. As well as providing private spaces for each individual or family, the shelters include easy-to-assemble and mobile kitchens. Being able to cook as a family brings a semblance of routine to the painful challenge of living as a refugee.

Working with partners Replus Bureau and Ponomarenko Bureau, the company repurposes schools, gymnasiums, and other large community buildings for the shelters. Already equipped with sinks and toilets, and sometimes showers, the open spaces within the structures are divided into small cubicles, giving each individual and group some privacy.

Designed for ease of assembly and use, the shelters use cardboard piping to form each room, while metal shelving, cabinets, and countertops are used in the kitchens. The modular metal pieces make it easy to transport the kitchens to various locations and are sturdy enough for long-term use, ideally by other organisations after the shelter is no longer needed. To date, the company has set up fifteen shelters and is seeking funds to build more elsewhere in the country.

As well as Ukrainians, citizens from several African and South Asian countries have been displaced this year by either conflict or severe weather, making innovations centred around displaced persons ever more important, as a diversity of experiences requires varying levels of support. Recent examples include a language learning platform that connects refugees with prospective digital employers, and cooking classes that connect asylum seekers and refugees with their host communities.  

Written by: Keely Khoury



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