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Other than making the physical environment look cheap and disposable, what is so important about integrating prefabbed materials with urban design? If people will move in and the mix of uses creates an interesting and exciting place to be, then why care about construction materials?
Ever consider the urban design of squatter villages on the fringes of Mexico City? Talk about prefabrication! These folks make structures of discarded and unwanted materials and live in them. I would imagine there is more community and life on the fringes of Mexico City than in Kentlands, Maryland.
never been there but in my country (sudan ) Mud architecture is cheap and so human. and let me tell you it is more life than London.
I am working on a project to house permenant refugees who are a victim of the arab-israeli conflict and prefabrication of construction material and mass producing them is one way to reduce the cost . in the west bank the material of construction is concrete hollow blocks and the juraselem stone......I want to integrate the conc. blocks and the technique of pre fab. with the mass plan of the site.
If human beings are political creatures, don’t the buildings they inhabit have a politics?
Raising that question cost two young Israeli architects their coveted spot at the 2002 World Congress of Architecture.
Eyal Weizman and Rafi Segal won a commission from the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) to represent their country at the congress, held in Berlin this July. Then iaua officials saw the catalogue for the planned exhibition, “A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture.”
Before Weizman and Segal knew it, the show was canceled and they’d become international celebrities.
Why was the IAUA so mad? “A Civilian Occupation” is a stinging critique of the Israeli architectural community’s role in the rapid colonization of the Occupied Territories, particularly the West Bank. With strongly argued essays, detailed maps and dramatic aerial photographs, the catalogue shows how 800-plus Israeli settlements — architect-designed, strategically-perched on hilltops and sealed to Palestinians — are keys to government control of the Territories.
IAUA chair Uri Zerubavel has angrily dismissed the project, calling it “pro-political, anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist.” The IAUA is a professional organization, not a political party, he says; showing “A Civilian Occupation” internationally would give Israeli architects a bad name. Weizman thinks Zerubavel is missing the point. To him, the West Bank is a case study, “a big laboratory where ubiquitous urban processes are accelerated and made extreme.” By exposing the complicity of Israeli architects in an “immoral, illegal” occupation, Weizman hopes to draw attention to a widespread lack of conscience in contemporary planning and architecture.
Ironically, it’s likely that more people will end up seeing “A Civilian Occupation” than would have in Berlin. Weizman says he’s had several offers from Europe to host the exhibition, and Babel Press is reissuing the offending catalogue. Look out, Rem Koolhaas.
It sounds like you have an interesting idea. If I get it right, you want to create affordable, quickly constructed, permanent housing for refugees, yet want it to still reflect the characteristic architecture and materials of the region? I would imagine the block and stone is especially good in the hot, dry climate of the region, too. Unfortunately, it is not a material that is easily incorporated into prefab structures. Using a veneer would eliminate any of the insulating benefit of the thick masonry walls, although I suppose some extruded polystyrene products may do equally well.
Have you considered concrete? It can be poured between forms made of polystyrene insulation. The forms can be assembled in a variety of configurations to create a diversity of masses. The exterior can be faced with stucco or a veneer of brick, stone, or other material. The interior can be framed, or there are materials that can be applied directly on top of the insulation.
you might want to look at construction techniques used for big box stores, just change the scale. By this I mean the idea of )panel construction .
You may also want to look at sites like the manufactured housing institute or the Canadian Mfg Housing Institute . Both of these are lobby/representative groups for the industry and may have contacts for you the CMHC also has much information on the mfg housing industry and implementation in remote/rural environments (Reserves)
thanx alot for all the valubale info. I will ceck on these sites you suggested and report back.
the thing is those refugees are not tradetional refugees the term is not precise , they have been refugees in refugee camps for more than 40 years . which makes their "camps " a city of there own . another challenge is a urban design criteria that can prevent the israieli troops fom entering the camp or maybe prevent them to cause much damage, maybe by using the security codes of the israeli resettlments it self. or by designing narrow streets ....do not allow for the israeli tanks or tractors to raid down the so called camp.
McGill University has a low cost housing program that produces several good theses about housing in Middle Eastern Countries. You may want to check out their website to see if any publications are available. http://ww2.mcgill.ca/mchg/
I'm interested to see what your research brings and how you end up designing the project. It would be great if you could update us as you progress, because you are dealing with issues that we rarely see here in North America. I know I would be interested in learning more.
Also, Automated Builder magazine, which promotes their "SAVED" (Shelter All Victims of Emergencies and Disasters) program and other, more substantial pre-fab systems as well. They can be found here and here.