First prize was shared three ways and four honourable mentions were awarded in From Border to Home, an architectural competition seeking solutions to the challenge of housing asylum-seekers. First prize was shared by 181081 (Germany), 808389 Society lab (Italy) and We house refugees (Finland). The results were announced at a special reception hosted by the Museum of Finnish Architecture on January 11, 2016.
The Museum of Finnish Architecture organized From Border to Home in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA from October 19 to November 30, 2015. The goal of this competition was to seek solutions to the challenge of housing asylum-seekers awaiting a decision on their refugee status and prior to their finding permanent housing in Finland. Competitors were asked to submit tangible solutions with a positive social impact, which also support longer-term living arrangements. The jury comprised architects as well as experts from the Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Red Cross and the Finnish Refugee Council. The competition was anonymous and open to all entrants.
A total of 93 entries complying with the given competition rules were submitted by the deadline. The competitors represented numerous countries including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Belarus, China, Indonesia, the US and Brazil. The jury shortlisted the seven (7) best entries in the first round of judging. The jury regarded these seven entries as excelling in quality and as best addressing the core challenge stated in the brief. The winning entries 181081 (Germany), 808389 Society lab (Italy) and We house refugees (Finland) were regarded as having a clear logical coherence and a compelling social impact.
The jury praised the overall quality and diversity of the submitted entries. They ranged in scope from individual buildings to ideas embracing wide-ranging national issues and case-specific systemic solutions, from new buildings to repurposing of existing buildings, from practical housing solutions to digital platforms, from social solutions to technical ones. Many marked an attempt to tackle wider issues related to the housing shortage, construction quality problems and regional development, proving that the complex array of challenges related to housing can indeed be addressed simultaneously.
The Museum of Finnish Architecture will showcase the winning entries in the Finnish Pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale in summer 2016 in cooperation with the Architecture Information Centre Finland.
The three winners of the "From Border to Home" competition
Code: 181081 (Germany)
Design team: Duy Tran, Lukas Beer, Ksenija Zdesar, Otto Beer
Excerpt from the jury’s statement:
• “The proposal focuses on the repurposing opportunities offered by vacant office space to meet the varying housing needs of asylum-seekers in the early stages after their arrival in the country.”
• “The concept capitalizes on our existing building stock, infrastructure and service network. It is thus societally, socially and economically well-reasoned and sustainable.”
• “The proposal takes a clearly phased approach to housing refugees, starting with the flexible adaptability required in the early stages all the way through to longer-term housing solutions.”
• “This universally adaptable concept can be applied in a variety of projects on varied scales all over Finland.”
• “The proposal challenges us to rethink the rationale of building codes that regulate the function of specific buildings.”
Code: 808389 (Italy)
Code name: Society Lab
Design team: Cecilia Danieli, Omri Revesz, Mariana Riobom
Excerpt from the jury’s statement:
• “This mobile app concept matches supply with demand for housing.”
• “An innovative, cost-efficient approach that requires no new building and is hence resource-efficient.”
• “The mobile app not only offers a solution for finding housing but also for finding jobs, seeking language-learning opportunities and making community contacts.”
• “The proposal promotes the fluent integration of asylum-seekers within the host community.”
• “The housing solution is designed around existing free space in cities and municipalities.”
• “The proposal’s sensitive approach to comprehensively meeting a broad spectrum of human needs is ingenious.”
Code name: We house refugees (Finland)
Design team: Milja Lindberg assisted by Christopher Erdman, A-Konsultit Oy Architects
Excerpt from the jury’s statement:
• “This incentive-based concept focusing on new housing development aims to enable the construction of a wide variety of ‘offshoot’ housing in a way that challenges existing building codes.”
• “This proposal seeks to achieve major-scale systemic changes by rethinking today’s building codes.”
• “The proposal aims to ease the housing shortage by increasing the capacity of our existing building stock in line with fluctuating levels of demand.”
• “It increases the flexible adaptability of our building stock and its ability to answer changing social needs.”
• “The adaptability of the housing caters to the changing needs of its residents, for instance as families grow or older residents retire.”
• “Future housing capacity is ‘inbuilt’ into new housing in a manner that promotes the smooth social integration of asylum-seekers.”
Honourable Mentions
The ideas and plans presented in the entries receiving honourable mentions were, according to the jury, “of exceptional quality”, and “polemically provocative” in their social content. The jury further stated that the proposals were characterized by “dynamic tension” and “duality” in their implications. The jury accordingly decided to award honourable mentions to the following four (4) entries.
Code: 0414 (Spain, France)
Design team: PAN 14: Romain Minod, Ruben Salvador Torres, Hani Jaber Ávila, Héctor Muñoz Mendoza, Daniel Millor Vela, Ricardo Mayor Luque, Ignacio Taus Jiménez (D.A.T. Pangea Design for Architectural Territories; Quatorze)
Code name: Helsinkikasbah (Finland)
Design team: Harri Ahokas, Tomi Laine, Akseli Leinonen, Nikolai Rautio, Matias Saresvuo. Assisted by Pekka Huima. Consultation: Pia Rautiainen.
Code name: Rajalta kouluun (Finland)
Design team: Ville-Pekka Ikola, Tuomas Niemelä, Antti Karsikas and Kalle Vahtera, alt Arkkitehdit Oy Architects
Assisted by: TEHAS ry
Code name: Start with a roof (Finland)
Designer: Satoshi Ohtaki
Competition Brief
Find the competion brief in here
From Border to Home – The Jury
Marco Steinberg, architect, chair of the jury
Kadar Gelle, project leader, Finnish Refugee Council
Mikko Heikkinen, architect, SAFA
Petri Kaukiainen, Executive Director for Helsinki, Finnish Red Cross
Jenni Lautso, architect SAFA
Samuli Miettinen, architect SAFA
Sirkku Päivärinne, Director of Immigration, Finnish Ministry of the Interior
The jury was assisted in its work by architect Yasser Almaamoun as an external expert consultant.
Press Images
The press image link will be open from 12 noon January 11, 2016 at:
Posters of the winning entries are also available by special request. Kindly contact:
Upcoming Events
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Astoria Hall, Iso Roobertinkatu 14
Architecture seminar: Homes for all
This one-day seminar will present the entries submitted in the ‘From Border to Home’ competition. Book now for this free seminar.
For more information
Marco Steinberg
Chair of the Jury
+358 (0)40 4827508