On the Arkitektnytt webpage, Tor Inge Heimdal of NAL says "Architects are well trained to come up with new ideas and be creative in a short period of time. This is not a quick fix, it's a smart fix. We are needed". When the Minister of Modernization and Municipalities, Jan Tore Sanner, called a meeting to ask for advice about how to house the influx of refugees, architects were not invited to take place. Norway will likely need to house up to 39,000 refugees in 2016-2017. NAL's Heimdal thinks architects are the ones who can help come up with the ideas necessary to make this possible. We agree!
SPINN Arkitekter and our officemates TOPIC were recently asked by Boligbygg Oslo KF, the Oslo Municpial Housing Authority, to illustrate temporary refugee housing solutions in Oslo. We gladly participated in a two-day charrette that explored the potential of 4 potential undeveloped sites in Oslo. The locations and configurations ranged from urban infil to suburban sites with an array of possible layouts.
The team's response was heavily based upon TOPIC's earlier research into temporary housing in Oslo that explored the re-use of shipping containers and off the shelf building-site modules to create livable spaces on underutilized sites around the city. A theme that is even more applicable to the current refugee housing crisis.
We hope to see more municipal interest in good solutions to these problems. Norway and Oslo need to take positive action to supply humane and worthy housing for those in need. While you are here, please consider a donation to SPINN's refugee charity of choice, the Norwegian Red Cross via NERD AID.
See all four of our sketch proposals here - Temporary Refugee Housing - Oslo