“The project is located in the Rigot park in Geneva, alongside the Avenue de France, near the Sismondi school. The choice of the location in the park was impulsed by an urgent and temporary measure aiming at accommodating 370 migrants” the designers, acau architecture.
International migration is currently outpacing global population growth. In 2017, according to the Brookings Institute, more people were forcibly displaced than at any point in our history. It is estimated that two-thirds of these displacements were due to humanitarian crises and one-third to sudden and catastrophic weather events. And climate change — desertification, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, air pollution, weather changes and loss of biodiversity — may lead to even more refugees.
Many major cities struggle with accommodating these refugees.
In Geneva, Switzerland, acau architecture has designed exemplary temporary accommodation using all local timber for the Hospice Générale and the Conseil d’Etat. This project, the Rigot Collective Dwelling Center fulfils an urgent need to house 370 migrants at the same time as limiting its environmental impact. Located in Rigot park next to a streetcar stop, The project consists of two symmetrical five-storey buildings, each constructed of prefabricated wooden modules, and each accessed by an external gallery open to a public courtyard. Anticipating the relocation of the buildings in ten years, the project has been designed to be recycled upon removal. The wooden foundations, with a network of piles and wooden footings, reduces the project’s impact on the site. They can also be reused at the next building location. This “dry” construction method avoids soil and water contamination and makes dismantling it much easier than if concrete had been used.
The turnover of families in the accommodation and the diversity of those household profiles is a secondary challenge. With this in mind, a modular system was designed to anticipate evolving apartment typologies, allowing units to vary from 2 to 8 rooms through a play of fires doors or conversion of kitchen spaces to bedrooms.
Today, 19 percent of the world’s immigrants reside in the United States, more than any other country. The Rigot Collective Dwelling Center provides a great example of how to accommodate them.
See the project here.
Image © Google 2020