Historically Greece has been a major gateway into northern Europe for migrants and asylum seekers. Today, most of the arrivals are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. A large percentage of the demographic are young males, often travelling alone. In March 2016 the Greek - Macedonian border was closed, stranding thousands of migrants in the northern region of Greece. Where previously perceived as a transit country, Greece had now become home to thousands of refugees. More than 13,000 of this population have had no choice but to live in camps.
Housing programs have been set up in recent years by various actors in order to provide an alternative to these camps, such as accommodating people in hotel rooms or a local host family arrangement, however these interventions account for less than 4,000 of these individuals and none of which offer long-term solutions. This project focuses on those intending to remain in Greece out of choice or as the only alternative other than returning to home nations in conflict. Therefore this project proposes a model that houses commercial, educational and residential functions that can benefit both new arrivals and the host community.
Through utilising the gaps in the urban fabric created by the economic situation in Greece over the past decade with a flexible and adaptable construction model, the physical structure takes influence from the Polykatoikea structural system - the 1930’s Greek interpretation of Le Corbusier’s 'Domino system'. This allows for familiar, cost and time effective construction. In order to achieve long-term integration, it is important that a sense of community is created within the physical structure.
To aid this a mixed user group is proposed and explores the potential of housing both students and new arrivals. We see common ground between these user groups both seeking affordable housing within accessible inner city locations. To create stability we propose 20% of this community are permanent residents and the percentage of students to refugees can adapt depending on influx. Communal facilities are created to encourage socialising between residents in courtyards, residential levels and rooftops.