Degree(s): BA, Art History, Fordham University
The site consists of two industrial buildings on the edge of Calais, a port city in northern France, that are currently occupied by refugee squatters. The refugee center design is an attempt to introduce humanity and organization into the chaos that has developed with the growth of the refugee population throughout Europe.
I was struck by the volume of refugees that are in Calais, with more arriving daily. Their living conditions are inhumane—the area is nicknamed “The Jungle”—as they wait in limbo between the country they fled and their opportunity to claim asylum. Considering basic needs, I developed four program areas: Food; Health and Hygiene; Sleeping Quarters; and Education. To maximize the population that the center will serve, these programs will be accessible 24 hours a day, and will be turned over daily, rather than being developed as long-term temporary housing.
Through a series of study models I developed a fluid, ribbon-like form that grounds itself at control points within the grid. This became a large-scale architectural element that moves throughout the space. The form is made of perforated metal and wood materials that have a gradient shift as it passes from one program area to the next. The continuity of the form within a variety of materials acts not only as an aesthetic organizing principle but also as a tangible representation of the basic and essential human needs that we are all entitled to.
Faculty for the project:Kevin Estrada