Reconstruction of sanitation, wells, village wall, community spaces and other infrastructure in tandem with the reconstruction of homes destroyed by flooding in two villages in Sujawal District,the Sindh province of Pakistan. The project was started in January 2011 in the villages of Swaleh Satho Goth Angario and Nodo Baran and completed in July 2011. Architecture for Humanity's Karachi Chapter provided design and construction expertise to Karachi Relief Trust.
Number of housing units: 29 (Goth Angario) 12 (Nodo Baran)
Additional infrastructure: common court, livestock leveling floor, village periphery wall, elevated water tank, septic tanks, seepage pits, surface tanks, sanitation and water supplies, planting of indigenous trees
Total grant: $42,000
Read the FINAL REPORT created in July 2011 for more detail.
In the summer of 2010, many provinces in Pakistan were affected by enormous flooding conditions. The floods caused the death of 1,600 people and some 20 million citizens were displaced by this natural disaster. These devastating floods have had a serious impact on an already vulnerable population. It is estimated that, at one point, one fifth of the country's total land area was underwater. Much of the farming land, housing and infrastructures were completely destroyed, leaving millions of people living in precarious, sub-standard conditions. The population has since struggled with severe food shortages, lack of sanitation and access to clean, drinking water. Funds provided by Architecture for Humanity through a grant from Google addressed this acute issue.
View Pakistan Flood Rebuilding Grant Program in a larger map
About the Karachi Chapter and the Karachi Relief Trust
The Architecture for Humanity Karachi Chapter was organized in the early 2010, right before the flooding took place. Chapter members include architects, engineers and site planners. All chapter members are experienced professionals who have already done extensive reconstruction projects following the 2005 earthquake.
The Karachi Relief Trust, based in Karachi as well, is a disaster mananagement voluntary organization that was established in 2007 to provide relief to the people affected in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh by Cyclone Yemyin. In 2008, the organization mobilized to help the victims of the Quetta Earthquake by building shelters for the displaced population. In 2009, the organization assisted the internally displaced people of Swabi by providing relief for certain perishable daily necessities.
The Architecture for Humanity Karachi Chapter and the Karachi Relief Trust have been working together since August 2010. Apart from short term relief efforts, the collaborative effort has yielding involvement in rebuilding the built environment of selected flood affected villages.
The grant funding was directly applied to the improvement of two selected villages located in the Sindh Province (Nodo Baran and Goth Angario). These villages were selected because they were severely damaged by the floods. The population lives in deplorable conditions, with minimum or no infrastructure, water or sanitation facilities. Nodo Baran is a community of small-scale fishermen, residing on government owned land. The average income of the villagers is $46 per month. Goth Angario is a village of field workers, with an average monthly income of $69. The village land is owned by the local families and has existed for the last 45 years.
Specifically, the project included the building of communal spaces, village boundary and containment, hard/soft landscaping, sanitation infrastructure and water supply improvements as well as design services for housing reconstruction.
Peripheral mud walls around the villages were constructed and these walls were supplemented with local shrubs to limit future encroachments. Hard landscaping incorporated the use of indigenous materials, including small flagstone pedestrian pathways and compacted earth for livestock paths. Soft landscaping included various local trees.
Communal spaces were central to the overall design and served as social spaces for community interaction and extended family units. These courts were proposed in mud plaster with rice husk finish over compacted earth. The periphery of the courts included a stabilized mud wall constructed of rammed earth technology with stabilized mud, cement and straw plaster finish.
With respect to sanitation and water supply, existing hand pumps were converted to electric driven suction pumps (where possible) for filling surface reservoir. Overhead tanks were installed for even water distribution in the homes. Independent elevated storage tanks within the toilets were also installed to improve and regulate water distribution. For sanitation purposes, seepage/soak pits and septic tanks were incorporated to collect soil and waste from the toilets. Effluent from the septic tank discharged into seepage pits through gravity flow.
The goal was to involve the local communities to partake in the reconstruction process.
In order to address reconstruction efforts for the exterior development and sanitation improvements of the villages, funds have come from a coalition of partners including Architecture for Humanity, Google and the Live4Pakistan concert, an online fund raiser developed by Bubbletank and Virgin Unite
Date started: April 2010
Date completed: April 2010
Studies have shown that the application of a Housing-First strategy will have a long-term positive effect on the city. Architecture For Humanity Vancouver believes that adequate shelter is a basic human right, and that by navigating the constraints and challenges associated with this task, housing the least privileged provides an opportunity to demonstrate both creativity and social responsibility.
The City of Vancouver announced a motion to pursue an initiative involving modular housing as an option to address our current unmet housing need. Adequate, permanent housing for all is crucial to our city. Modular housing offers us the speed and agility that our citizens need today. It is capable of addressing site-specificities through thoughtful configurations, as well as making bold design statement that could inspire a new creative generation. Modular housing offers a whole new set of ambitions in sustainable practice, economy, and elegance. Most important of all, it will save site time. The race to end homelessness and improve affordability will gain momentum.
To host a one-day Charrette+Competition+Gala. The Quick Homes Superchallenge brought the best minds and talents together for one intensive day to generate a series of viable concepts to be ready for prototyping and implementation.
Intermodal Steel Building Units, aka shipping containers, were the key component of this superchallenge. They are structural, economical/plentiful, mobile, and modern. This design charrette was not merely an exploration of its form and typology, but an ambitious yet appropriate initiative that integrates hardware, software, and logistics. We strove for a solution that is fast, cheap, and adaptable: one that can be exported to wherever shipping containers are available around the world.
Participants were given 1 of 3 local sites and a specific set of design requirements. Drawings, physical and digital models, photographs were generated.
The designers generated 4 unique proposals:
To encourage mingling between the residents of their SRO and their neighbours in false creek, one team externalized the cultural elements of the site by running a publicly accessible “Cultural Arcade” across the heart of the site, following the line of the bridge overhead. The idea is for the arcade to be used by residents for cultural and community-oriented events much like the Eastside Cultural Crawl to encourage a “mingling of lifestyles.” The bridge connects with the site in other ways. Rain run off from the bridge will be collected and cycled into the site’s water usage that includes green roofs and green walls. It is the wet coast after all.
The three-storey building that sits under the Granville Street bridge combines a grocer, café, dorm-style housing for street youth, retail and live/work studios for starving artists together with 2 and 3 bedroom rental condos for young families. The building boasts units that span the spectrum of housing from 140 square foot dorm-like bedrooms for street youths to 1200 square foot townhomes for young families. “We wanted to show the versatility of this form [of shipping containers],” says Bliek. In that way the building acts as a showcase for housing solutions and creative design that will ideally be co-opted by the city’s developers at other sites. “It’s an intentional community much like Woodwards,” says Paulson, who envisions a hive of community growing in the space wherein street youth can strive to be artists and have their own families one day.
This three storey mixed-use building is all about two things: community and sustainability. The site is chockfull of communal areas be they a library, computer room, lounges, picnic areas, dining areas, or a garden – all to encourage interactions between residents. There are some serious “green” bells and whistles at play here too. The roof features water collection that irrigates the building’s green walls and, much more impressively, creates hydroelectric renewable energy to help take the complex off the grid. Everything from countertops to the carpet will be sourced from recycled or sustainable non-toxic materials.
Four stories of shipping container housing on top of a Chinatown parking garage: controversial. Although this team prefer to describe their site as “provocative”. They maximized the number of units over four floors that sit atop a seven storey building, the top floors of which are filled by cars. The end result is a ring of 108 units that frame a central courtyard. Every unit gets a view, lots of natural light and air. They strived to be as generous as they could within the constraints of a shipping container. And the special sauce? A batch of shipping containers sliced off at 3 feet and filled with soil for urban farming. Voila: veggie boxes.
Councillor Kerry Jang
Monte Paulsen (Tyee)
Janice Abbot (Atira)
Bill Briscall (Raincity)
Grant Powell (C-bourne)
Robert Trubenbach (ContainerWest)
Keith Dewey (Zigloo)
Mona Lemoine (Cascadia)
Joaquin Karakas (HB LANARC)
James Lau (COV)
Duane Elverum (ECUAD)
Neal LaMontagne (COV, DFBC)
James Eidse (DFBC)
Linus Lam (AFHV, DFBC)
City of Vancouver has generated a document which outlines its commitment to make environmental sustainability, housing affordability and livability a primary goal in all city planning decisions - the EcoDensity Charter. Architecture for Humanity - Vancouver sought to use this document as a stepping stone to a larger discussion of urban issues.
AfH-v sought to engender discussions exploring how humanity, sociability and density may be achieved through innovations in the interlinked disciplines of architecture, urban planning, industrial design and communication design. A public event was conceived that would address how urban densification can promote better communities, sustainability, as well as culturally stimulating experiences.
The format for the resulting project consisted of two complimentary components: an exhibition and a full-day forum session. Both were located at Vancouver's Grace Gallery.
The exhibition consisted of a body of works that addressed different scales and registers of urban life. They ranged from residential building design to household products to even web-sites that served as a locus for individuals interested in smart densification to communicate.
The forum was a one-day event featuring presenters representing a variety of disciplines, from architects to urban planners, and industrial designers to academics. They addresses a variety of issues on urban densification and sustainable design in Vancouver. Topics included laneway and secondary housing, participatory strategies for neighbourhood density planning, and monetary and social incentives available for encouraging urban densification and sustainability.
The week-long exhibition had a full-house opening night that was attended by the former Director of Planning Brent Toderian, as well as various city councillors. The accompanying essay and presentation that Pat Chan wrote and gave for the exhibition was eventually rewritten and published as a chapter in The Domestic Space Reader edited by Profs. Kathy Mezei and Chiara Briganti through the University of Toronto Press.
Patrick Chan - organizer
In association with:
Neal LaMontagne + Katherine Isaac (Urban Planners, City of Vancouver)
Joaquin Karakas (Urban Designer, HB LANARC Planning + Design)
Bryn Davidson (Architect, Rao-D Cityworks/ Dynamic Cities Project)
Robert Chester (Architect, Robert Chester Architects)
Maged Senbel (Professor of Urban Design, UBC)
Peter Cardew (Architect, Peter Cardew Architects)
Pat Chan (Design Lecturer, Emily Carr University)
Michael Barber (Designer/Lecturer, BCIT)
Theresa Fresco (Graduate, University of the Fraser Valley)
Date started: May 2009
Date completed: September 2009
In conjunction with the Architecture Institute of British Columbia, Azure Magazine, and the organizers of IDSWest, Architecture for Humanity Vancouver proposed a competition exploring housing made with prefabricated components.
Bespoke, site-specific architectural design has been highly valued throughout history; it dominates the popular notion of domestic architecture. While one might argue that the meaning of “prefab housing” falls short in this context, prefab housing does offer an entire different set of ambitions such as sustainability through efficiency, economy, and quality through volume. This concept is increasingly relevant as urban populations explode.
AfH-V sought to demonstrate that compact living space, combined with the advantages of pre-fabrication techniques, is a strategy designers can employ in response to the ever-growing population that makes up the urban fabric around the world.
Moreover, the organizers wished to convey the notion that prefab structures may be viewed from a social perspective as a communicative platform that breaks down boundaries and allow communities, city officials and designers around the world to share new ideas about sustainable densification.
With the support of the other organizing bodies, AfH-Vancouver launched the Prefab 20*20 competition in May 2009.
Designers were challenged to propose a free-standing, prefab dwelling unit for a footprint no more than 400sf (37.5sm) in an urban setting anywhere in the world. Fit for two adults, its basic program included sleeping, bathing, cooking, living, working/studying, and storage areas. Submissions were to showcase quality urban living space on a compact scale, and eliminate the social stigma of the utilitarian prefabricated home of the past.
Sustainability through efficiency, economy, and quality through volume were values to be explored.
The competition was widely acknowledged - 285 teams from 149 cities / 26 countries responded to the call for submissions. The winning entry, 2 runner ups, 4 honourable mentions, and 16 shortlisted entries were displayed at the IDSwest 2009 (September 17-20 2009), a prestigious interior design show in Vancouver, BC.
The submissions were displayed in a unique 400sf display booth designed and assembled by AfH-v volunteers.
ECOMOBI: MODULAR HOUSING SYSTEM
MOBIUS ARCHITECTS (KRAKOW, POLAND)
PRZEMEK OLCZYK, WOJTEK GAWINOWSKI, WOJTEK SUMLET
BLACKWELL ARCHITECTURE (VANCOUVER, CANADA)
SHAWN BLACKWELL, KATE FRETZ
DANIEL PREUSSE, BO YOON, MATTHEW FAJKUS
SELF-SUFFICIENT PREFAB HOUSE
SYSTEM DESIGN STUDIO (BARCELONA, SPAIN)
HELBERT SUAREZ FERREIRA, REMI MELANDER
URBAN (TREE) HOUSE
JASON DAVID DESIGNS (NEW YORK, USA)
THE SPONTANEOUS HOUSE
COBOGÓ TEAM (DIADEMA, BRAZIL)
CLÁUDIA BASTOS COELHO, MARIANA MATAYOSHI
FROM PARKING TO LIVING
ÁPORO ARQUITETURA (SAO PAULO, BRAZIL)
DANILO HIDEKI ABE, MAYRA RODRIGUES, RÉGIS SUGAYA
Oliver Lang, MAIBC
Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture
School of Architecture of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia
Michael Geller, MAIBC, FCIP
The Geller Group
Kristina Lee Podesva
Emily Carr University
Jason Heard, Show Director, Interior Design Show West
Linus Lam, Director, Architecture For Humanity Vancouver
Patrick F. Chan, Educator, Architecture For Humanity Vancouver
Architecture for Humanity Vancouver
Interior Design Show West
Architectural Institute of British Columbia
The stretch of East Pender in Vancouver's Chinatown has historically acted as the main street of the neighbourhood, and contains many historically and architecturally significant buildings built during its early days. The City of Vancouver has identified this area as a district deserving of preservation of its buildings, and has acted to subsidize actions with this goal in mind.
AfH-v believes that the restoration of historic building facades in this neighbourhood plays a role in the larger revitalization of the area. Working in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and Building Opportunities with Business, AfH-v provided design services for a building owner, with the intent of restoring the building's facade to its heyday lustre.
In order to best develop the design for the reclaimed facade, the design team researched the available historical data to determine the appearance of the building during its heyday. A significant alteration post-60s was the removal of the cornice of the original 1910 building, and it was decided that the restoration of this element would help align the building with the larger neighbourhood context. Another prominent element was the inclusion of the "date established" text at the top of the building, a common element on building facades in the area. It was decided that this component would be important to ground the building within the historical context of the neighbourhood.
One of the beliefs of the team and the building owner was that a revitalized building could play a part in the larger revitalization of the neighbourhood. The revival of night life in the area played a part in this belief, and to that end the team included new lighting to the facade that evoked the past era of prominent coloured lighting down this main street. The new LED lighting can produce a range of colours and allows for programmable sequences as well.
Multiple meeting with the Heritage authorities at the City of Vancouver led to a finalized design in June 2010. The construction team led by One Man Army began work on Aug. 2011, and work was complete Dec. 2011.
Matthew Lahey - Project Lead
Joel Shane - Typographer
One Man Army Inc.