A proposal from the team of Alexandre Houdet, Valentine Aguiar, Antonin Belot, and Hans Fritsch—who hail from Nantes, France—has won the Archstorming's Mosul Postwar Camp international design competition. Titled "Impulse," the winning project highlights the importance of a participatory approach in rebuilding community resilience in postwar reconstruction.
The competition's brief was released last year, welcoming submissions from all disciplines and nationalities, and seeking projects that propose temporary housing and infrastructure for the Iraqi refugees who are expected to return to Mosul before the city is rebuilt. The participants were asked to create spaces that will not feel temporary, and they were encouraged to allocate a range of facilities and services, including an humanitarian aid distribution center as well as healthcare, religious, sports, and recreational facilities. "It must be conceived as a solution to heal the wounds of this terrible conflict, a meeting point of families separated by war, an opportunity to forget the suffering and return to their old lives," said the competition brief.
The winning project features a modular, incremental housing concept. The recently unveiled proposal envisions a new urban morphology that is shaped by a series of housing clusters organized around communal spaces. Each cluster will house five to six families, who will gradually transform their dwelling space from a basic emergency tent to a one- or two-story permanent housing unit, according to their needs. To minimize the overall costs, the team also proposed reusing salvaged construction materials found in the ruins. According to the proposal, upon arrival to Mosul, each family will be provided with an emergency tent and a permanent structural frame: a base for each unit's future expansion.
The jury team was made up of architect Charles Walker, a director at Zaha Hadid Architects; Corinne Gray, a MIT Sloan Fellow and former specialist at the United Nations Refugee Agency; Andrea Panizzo, a co-founding director at London-based Emergent Vernacular Architecture; Madrid-based architect Concha Roa; Amro Sallam, AIA, a board member for the Architects For Society; and Chang Kyu Lee, a principal at New York–based GebDesign.