Arrival Studio | Athens

Gallery 9
MIT School of Architecture and Planning
105 Massachusetts Avenue
On view: February 22-March 31
Opening Reception: February 22, 6:30 PM

Context | Of the nearly 3,000 unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece, only a third live in adequate shelter. Recent surges in refugee arrivals have stressed housing facilities for these shelters well beyond their capacity. The urgency to create quality homes for these minors in Athens requires the development of a set of guidelines that defines and establishes critical principles for design in the process of adapting existing vacant apartments into homes for these children.
Studio Framework | The Arrival Studio focuses on the design for the shelter, care and protection of unaccompanied migrant and refugee minors in the city of Athens in collaboration with local non-governmental charity groups. This collaborative studio designed a unique community engagement process, developing a coloring book and architectural toy models, as well as a dictionary of design strategies, a document that contained a catalogue of possible design interventions that could be deployed in existing shelters at a variety of scales.
Design Strategies | The studio investigated both an adaptive-reuse and a new-build design for a shelter in each case proposing interventions that responded to specific desires and needs communicated by the supervisors and children within the shelters.  These interventions occupied multiple scales, from low-cost and minimally invasive, to larger and more substantial changes. In lieu of traditional architectural drawings, the final designs are presented as a series of colorful illustrations, a graphic format that is legible to the community they serve.