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.
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.