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Ariana Zilliacus     

Home not shelter


︎ Is social integration even possible without spatial integration? The residences fill existing pockets between buildings around Copenhagen, as a method for large scale integration. This eliminates the existence of large-scale residential blocks built on the outskirts of cities, instead creating an even distribution in the existing built environment.

︎in 2017, all 44 asylum centres in Denmark are located outside of a 10km radius from its 5 largest cities,  yet their inhabitants are expected to learn the language, understand the culture and embody the values of Danish citizens

︎axo-section of a proposed construction

Home and dwelling are closely connected with each other. Dwellings are transformed into homes by the acts of inhabiting. Depending on the context, home and the sense of being at home stretch outside the physical borders of dwelling to the staircase, street, neighbourhood, region, country and even further to the other side of the world.

(Hanna Johansson and Kirsi Saarikangas)

︎ Migration is not a new phenomenon. However the way that Europe, in this case specifically Denmark, is dealing with the current wave of migration makes it an urgent topic to discuss.

︎ Psychological research has recently begun to focus on post-migration stressers, such as social isolation, unemployment and poverty, that have unsurprisingly shown to have harmful psychological impacts, strengthening the case for effective integration on not just the grounds of humane treatment but also health.

︎ Along with providing opportunities for social involvement and cultural immersion, this project aims to create a space that appeals to bodily senses through the use of various lighting conditions and warm, textured materials such as wood.

︎ Exposure to sunlight has shown to have a positive correlation with mental health, making it an important factor in these buildings, especially as they are located in tight gaps ranging from 1.5 - 3.5 meters.

︎ On a programmatic level, the residence can house a volunteer-based cafe to provide potential financial support for inhabitants. Given that the Danish government confiscates any valuables beyond 10,000kr from incoming refugees - in order to pay for their accommodation  - this could be a likely necessity.

︎ This cafe also makes for a transition between public and private space that softens the hard boundaries usually created by walls and doors; hopefully extending the feeling of a home beyond just the physical building.

︎ Inspired by ongoing projects in Europe, such as ‘Home not shelter’, a cross-school initiative between TU Vienna, TU Munich and TU Berlin, and Startblock in Amsterdam West, this program proposes to bring young, single people living in Denmark, together with young single migrants, most pressingly refugees, to live in small self-supporting communities.

Update: a residental project with this same program was initiated in Copenhagen in 2019. Read more about it here.