Beautiful and functional, these are homes anyone would be happy to move into.
Due to the Syrian conflict which began in 2011, over 4 million people (according to 2015 statistics) have been displaced from their homes. In result, migrants are traveling with few possessions to nearby countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Greece. Germany, as well, has received a staggering influx or refugees, which is why residents in the German town of Winnenden turned to architect Werner Sobek to help solve the immigrant housing crisis.
TreeHugger reports that in response to the conundrum, the architect partnered with the company Aktivhaus to complete a modular development that 200 Syrian refugees might live in. The homes were prefabricated in a factory and were quickly put together on site, similar to Legos.
Each 60-square-meter module is constructed using timber frame construction which is stacked to create two stories. The high-quality walls are airtight, are clad in lurch, and are insulted using hemp and wood fibers. This minimizes energy demands. Additionally, the units are recyclable and free of emissions. The windows are sealed with rubber strips instead of polyurethane foam, which is toxic.
According to Baunetz.de, each home is made to last 50 years; however, Sobek estimates that if taken care of, they can actually last hundreds.
In addition to the housing modules, the development includes a technology module, two community rooms, and a multi-functional space complete with washing machines and dryers. Though the public is only hearing of the community now, it was actually initiated and completed in 2016.
The mayor of Winnenden noted that in the coming years, there will be a need for 40,000 additional apartments, which means the modular homes will not go to waste. In fact, the development is intended as refugee housing for only three years. Let’s hope by 2020 a more permanent solution to help those who have been displaced by the civil war is presented.