Words by Smiley Team
When Kosmos Architects heard about the war starting in Ukraine, they were horrified to hear about the atrocities unfolding. To do their bit to help those worse affected, they dreamed up an innovative shelter to house refugees as well as homeless people.
“We were completely shocked and disagreed with the war. So we decided to find a way to change the situation,” Artem Kitaev, the CEO of Kosmos Architects, tells Smiley News.
The architects selected a location in Georgia, to which Ukrainian and other refugees have fled. They then set about searching for easily-accessible building materials.
Despite the scarcity of practical building materials in Georgia, they managed to source a combination of low-cost wood, metal and tyres to construct a basic shelter. The roof is weighed down by river rocks and the structure is designed to use as little wood as possible.
“The whole idea is that the house is extremely cheap and can be constructed by unqualified workers or volunteers,” Artem explains.
The plywood frame and corrugated iron cladding can be constructed in just a few days. To keep it from overheating, workers must build it in the shade.
The first phase serves as a temporary summer shelter. But for winter months or longer stays, the inhabitants can add extensions to the building.
Inside there is a living room and dining room and enough space to sleep two people downstairs and two plus a child in an upstairs mezzanine.
Together with the help of alternative living organisation Chateau Chapeau, they hope to extend the house to become more of a community, offering free accommodation to those who need it most.
DONATE: To help fund the construction of the community of temporary shelters, contact Chateau Chapiteau to donate.