Home not Shelter! Plug-In - a modular community space

The Home not Shelter! initiative aims to design and implement new, communal, transitory forms of housing for students, refugees and new urban residents.  The aim is to use high-quality design to promote new spatial and social forms of coexistence, integration and social transformation. The following design, spatial and social guiding principles are to be implemented in all projects supported by the initiative.
The projects are to be located in the urban context of university locations, in neighbourhoods with high density, social mixing and mixed uses.
The projects realise a differentiated programme of private, communal and public spaces.Community spaces and shared uses are of great importance.
The projects realise spaces, space programmes and uses that are as adaptable and changeable as possible. These must adapt to changing needs, groups of residents and (subsequent) uses in the best possible way and at short notice.
In the accommodation and houses, user groups and uses should be mixed as heterogeneously as possible. The focus is on mixing students/trainees and people who have fled to Europe, but also between genders, cultures and age groups.Opportunities and offers for mixing are to be realised at all scales - from single rooms and shared apartments to communal spaces and outdoor areas.  In turn, living, learning, working, leisure and other uses are to be mixed in and around the buildings.

Technical Description

The Home not Shelter! Plug-In is a neutral space module that spatially expands the precarious living situation of refugees in emergency shelters and offers services that go beyond mere accommodation. In the Plug-In, refugees can actively engage in a collaborative process and under professional supervision. The pavilion is to be planned in the immediate vicinity of existing refugee accommodation and is adaptable in size. If necessary, it can change its location and be relocated to other places of activity. The premises and values of the Home not Shelter! initiative, to promote new spatial and social forms of coexistence and to enable integration and social transformation through high-quality design, are reflected in the building.
The Home not Shelter! Plug-In is planned as a mobile space module that can be built in cooperation with refugees and volunteers in a design-build process to serve as a place for collaborative working and learning in refugee shelters. It should create spaces of possibility at its location, for example for/as:
Meeting, experience and experimentation space between accommodation and neighbourhood;
for training and further education (of refugees and external persons); the construction of furniture, interior fittings and building parts;
experimental space for the development of products, concepts and services (FabLab);
A nucleus for start-ups and spin-offs or, in the future, the founding of companies by refugees.
The "Home not Shelter! Plug-In" can be an open space, event and meeting place where new and old neighbours can meet, exchange ideas and get to know each other. It can either be docked directly onto shelters or set up in their surroundings. The plug-in has the potential to reproduce itself, to expand, to multiply and to adapt to various places and uses. The high aesthetic and architectural quality serves as a signal that 'refugee architecture' does not have to correspond to the precarious living situation of the people concerned.



Dado Abdalraham, Mema Abdulfatah, Alexa Bartsch, Filip Bencina, Simon Büscher, Alma De Ruiter, Quirin Dilling, David Eder, Qingqing Hu, Martin Kluge, Finia Köhler, Luisa Lauber, Simon Lehmann, Pia Morath, Miriam Rieke, Anna-Maria Tiedemann, Xiao Xiao, Fatimah Yilmaz
Ralf Pasel
Collaborating Organisations
Hans-Sauer Stiftung
AWO Berlin
Niederländische Botschaft
Max Hacke
Caroline Sorbier
Hans-Sauer-Stiftung Munich
Netherlands Embassy Berlin

Academic Discipline(s)
18 Students
Academic Level(s)
Academic Facts
Project Context
Project Type
Care / Education | Community / Culture
Construction Methods/Techniques