‘better shelter’, the weatherproof, quick-to-assemble and sustainable make-shift home for refugees is IKEA‘s temporary housing solution for aiding displaced families and individuals who are fleeing conflict, disaster and climate change. the innovative design was introduced and published by designboom back in 2013. four years on, the temporary shelter has won awards for its innovative concept that stands even more so relevant to the controversial events that are happening today.

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the time-lapse video shows the shelter assembled in 2 minutes
all images © better shelter

 

 

the entire structure arrives in two cardboard boxes which have been flat-packed to include the instructions, while reflecting the order in which the components will be used in its assembly. a total of 17,5 sqm of space, the three-part set up (steel foundation, roof with ventilation and solar paneling, walls with windows and entrance) requires a team of four people and takes around four hours depending on experience, conditions and location. once completed, the space can host up to 5 people and has a lifespan of three years.

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developed in partnership between the IKEA foundation and the united nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), better shelter utilizes solar energy, which is installed on the roof, and in turn, charges an LED light inside. the rigid steel frame covered with sufficiently fire retardant wall and roof panels allow occupants sufficient time to exit the shelter in the event of fire.

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there are currently 30,000 better shelters’ are already in use around the world. the design is a clear demonstration of scalable design that has the ability to make a worldwide impact. in addition to the safe and adaptable aspects of the modest structure, the approach stays true to IKEA’s revered flat-pack technology used in their furniture design, which has now been re-purposed to create a shelter that can be easily assembled and transported.

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one shelter is delivered in 2 flat pack boxes, which each weigh around 80 kg

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the steel foundation being set up

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 a durable lightweight polymer siding called rhulite is used for the façades

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due its modular nature, features such as a solar powered roof can be integrated into the design

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the replica was erected flagship store in slependen, norway
’25m2 syria’ by POL

 

 

IKEA continues to do its part in highlighting the increasing number of people being displaced internationally. last year they replicated a syrian home inside its flagship store in norway in partnership with the red cross where customers experienced a room-sized replica of a syrian home. additionally, better shelter was displayed at MoMA as part of the ‘insecurities: tracing displacement and shelter’ exhibition in new york.

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the shelter displayed inside the MoMA
image by jonathan muzikar © 2016 the museum of modern art

 

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