Temporary Dorms For Burmese Refugees

  • Continuous refugee flows from Burma have resulted in massive demographic changes in Southeast Asia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that around 140,000 Burmese refugees are currently living in neighbouring Thailand. As such, small Thai villages continue to swell in size as human rights continue to be ignored on the other side of the border.

    One of the problems for Thai villages is a rapidly increasing student population due to incoming refugees. One town, Mae Sot, is trying to meet the challenge with a new temporary housing typology to house the new students from across the Thai-Burmese border.

    Developed with financial assistance from Luxembourg’s Embassy located in Bangkok, the structures use local materials and are designed to go up pretty quickly (within four weeks!). These are a fantastic development: in a world that continues to, sadly, be riddled by internal armed conflicts, it’s encouraging to see the design world, spearheaded by initiatives such as Architecture for Humanity, rapidly responding to social, political, and budgetary challenges to make lives better for the 99%.