RETHINKING SHELTER DESIGN: ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP
Abu Al-Sha’r, Rand
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The issue of post-disaster housing for displaced people has become essential in international discussion due to an increase in displacement over the past decades.1 There are inadequacies in the way we design for and respond to those situations.2 The Zaatari Syrian refugee camp was established in 2012, and currently has a population of 79,559 refugees. Housing in Zaatari consists of prefabricated tents and caravans.3 The shelters are fundamentally insufficient in serving the residents’ needs, with one prominent issue being temporariness versus permanence. This project explores the literature available on the temporary housing and the birth of the instant city. It also examines the living conditions of the Zaatari refugee camp, and proposes contextual response design elements for a shelter specific to the camp. The proposed design is shaped by specific criteria extracted from an extensive examination of proposed and implemented case studies. 1 “Syria Crisis Factsheet.” European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (2017). 2 Sultan Barakat. “Housing Reconstruction after Conflict and Disaster.” Overseas Development Institute (2003). 3 “Zaatari Refugee Camp Factsheet.” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2017).