LAU architecture students assemble emergency shelter with plastic crates + ties
LAU architecture students assemble emergency shelter with plastic crates + ties LAU architecture students assemble emergency shelter with plastic crates + ties
apr 30, 2014

LAU architecture students assemble emergency shelter with plastic crates + ties

LAU architecture students assemble emergency shelter using plastic crates + ties
all images courtesy of students at LAU




the ’emergency plastic crates shelter’, designed by third year architecture students at the lebanese american university has been assembled as a 1:1 scale prototype on site at LAU’s byblos campus. studio instructor richard douzjian requested for the temporary structures to be developed from common, everyday objects that are easily accessible to people all-over the world, as many refugees are forced to incorporate such materials into creating their own living environments.


the ‘ECS-p1’ project uses just two components as construction materials: plastic crates — indispensable to the agriculture sector — and regular zip ties. following a ‘consumerist vernacular architecture’ approach, the adapted containers are reusable if undamaged, otherwise they are completely recyclable along with the ties that hold it together.



‘ECS-p1: storage use’
video courtesy of richard douzjian




other than the three vertical support columns per wall and at the window sills, every single plastic crate functions as a storage unit. this dual purpose extends to the window shutters, which can be integrated as either seats or table legs when not blocking the openings. in hot and dry climates the shelter provides a viable substitute to the conventional tent, as it procures natural lighting, ventilation and cooling, while being more structurally resistant and offering seamless holding spaces.

the ‘ECS-p1’ assembled as a 1:1 scale prototype on site on LAU’s byblos campus


the temporary structure has been developed from common, everyday objects


the interior offers 9sqm of liveable space


the window ‘shutters’ become seats and table supports


the table is made of paper tubes tied with the same plastic zip ties as the shelter


the intimate interior maintains a visual relationship with the outside


the window sills enable the crates to serve as storage units


the interior space is generously lit, while naturally ventilated and cooled in the dry summer heat


roof assembly detail of crates connected with plastic ties, forming an alveolar system to reinforce the structure


thermal insulation study for the ECS-p2: standardized PVC boxes that would be inserted in the plastic crates



project info:


location: lebanese american university, byblos, lebanon
student designers: shady waked, abdelkader ghazzawi, sandra el hajj
studio instructor: richard douzjian, dr.eng.
assembly team: shady waked, abdelkader ghazzawi, sandra el hajj, dalia choucair, rola kaba el halabi, louay soubra, eliane azkul, farouk zouia, alaa kiwane, pauline zakarian, saif ayad abdul sattar, mohammad al shmaitilly, nadim hallit, jose manuel pages madrigal, richard douzjian
built area: 14.4m2
liveable area: 9m2
number of used crates: 416
assembly time: 5 to 7 hours
structure and materials: plastic crates and zip ties – concrete blocks added to wall bases as weight anchors



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • “Emergency!!”
    “Quick, drink all the beer!!”

    Smeagol says:

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