It is more like an oversized IKEA process than a do-it-yourself house project, able to be assembled in a short period of time with just a few workers using simple instructions and correspondingly uncomplicated tools to execute its surprisingly elegant plan.
Designed by Finnish students from the Alto Wood Program, this emergency shelter does their regional material of choice (wood) and their program’s namesake (Alvar Alto) proud, with a practical but comfortable and dynamic interior.
Meanwhile, setting it up is a cinch – modular plywood panels, prefabricated and shipped to site, attach via wooden dowels and nylon straps that (remarkably) negate any need for metal fasteners or electric tools and actually form an airtight seal at joints.
A space-saving galley kitchen attaches to a mixed-use dining, living and working area, while spare lofts above semi-private bedrooms double as storage or extra sleeping spaces. The roof also extends to shelter a limited zone of exterior square footage as well.
After five years of transitional occupancy, its recyclable materials can be scrapped and reused entirely, re-purposed as a whole or form the basis for expansions and additions into a longer-term residence.
Finally, despite its built-in half life, this is no temporary shelter in any traditional sense – it was run structural tests to make sure this model home will hold up in everything from heavy winds and severe storms to earthquakes (essential in certain post-disaster scenarios).
“The Aalto University Wood Program is a one year intensive program on wood and wooden architecture based in Espoo, Finland.”
“The focus of the program is the 1:1 scale design-build project – this years, a transitional refugee shelter to be deployed in a cold climate. As the amount of people living in emergency situations around the world increases, the students of the Wood Program are committed to making a difference in their lives through good design. A design competition was held in the fall semester, after which the entire program worked together with a team of engineering students to develop and complete the shelter.”
“The shelter will be exhibited at the beginning of May in Fiskars and from May 28-29 at the World Village Festival in Kaisaniemi, Helsinki.”