Skip to main content

Outdoor Design of Bâtiment 7 in Montreal, Quebec

Design a public space and provide recycled materials

At Montréal in Canada
In 2019
By Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada
Local partners: Bâtiment 7

Designed the “Place du marché” – a public space located across from the Bâtiment 7 Community Centre in Montreal. This project was supported by ASFQ via the Urban Solidarity program and was designed by volunteer architect Julio Cardenas. B7 is a heritage industrial building that, following 10 years of neighbourhood mobilization, became the emblematic gathering place for an engaged community striving to disenclave the Pointe Saint-Charles district, known as one of Montreal’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The space is self-managed by the Collectif 7 and now hosts several services and activities including a grocery store, brewery, artistic creation workshops, and vehicle- and bike-repair workshops. The ground in front of the building had to be decontaminated from industrial waste prior to being handed over to B7 to be permanently restored. The temporary project experimented with the future installation of removable, re-installable components produced from recycled materials provided through the organization’s circular-economy program. Several areas were set up to eat, watch shows, relax and let the kids play. The first activity organized in the building was the Summer Festival on June 21st.

Category: Community Participation Medium / Technology / Material: Workshop & Recycled Materials Typology: Temporary outdoor installation
Outdoor Design of Bâtiment 7
Outdoor Design of Bâtiment 7

Resilience Montréal

Created a temporary day and well-being centre for homeless Indigenous communities

At Montréal in Canada
In 2019
By Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada
Local partners: Résilience Montréal
Donors: Ville de Montréal

In Montréal’s Cabot Square area, Indigenous communities make up 40% of the homeless population. Many visited the centre seeking medical services, employment and even to escape violence. In 2018, the only nearby day centre was forced to move due to the pressure of gentrification, worsening the situation and leading to the death of 14 of these vulnerable citizens, mainly women. In the face of this humanitarian and health crisis, Nakuset, Director of the Native Women’s Shelter, along with Sheila Woodhouse, Director of the Nazareth Community, located a building and asked for the ASFQ’s help to transform it into a temporary day centre. In one month, architect Claire Davenport, along with ASFQ volunteers, managed to condense the design, procurement, work and acquisition of permits, all the while considering the social and cultural specificities of the target beneficiaries. The centre’s visual identity was also created by David Calmel based on an Inuit symbol – the inukshuk. Today, Resilience Montréal offers food and a place to wash up and rest, along with frontline services, psychosocial support, personal care and a laundry service. A second phase of the project will aim to find a location in which to establish a permanent facility.

Resilience Montréal
Resilience Montréal
Resilience Montréal
Resilience Montréal
Resilience Montréal

Ambatofotsy Medical Centre, Madagascar

Designed and built a medical infrastructure

At Madagascar
In 2017
By Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada
Local partners: Soeurs Missionnaires de l’Immaculée Conception
Donors: l’Immaculée Conception

Designed and built a medical infrastructure in a remote area with 4,000 inhabitants on the high plateaus of the Red Island Ambatofotsy is a remote location whose 4,000 inhabitants live dispersed across a sprawling, arid landscape with no medical infrastructure. In early 2017, Architecture Without Borders Québec, Engineers Without Borders Québec and the PRECI decided to support the mission of the Soeurs Missionnaires de l’Immaculée Conception, a missionary that has been in Ambatofotsy for years, to finance, design and build a medical centre in a culturally appropriate and sustainable manner. A volunteer architect’s mission in May 2017 allowed us to meet local partners, understand the site and prepare materials orders. Needs were surveyed on site through participatory workshops. The building embodies the vernacular principles of Malagasy construction, while also incorporating modern concepts. Since early February 2018, a doctor has been doing consultations 3 days per week, and a nurse and midwife have been on site full-time to offer first aid and maternity services. With the support of the Roncalli International Foundation, a second phase of construction is now set to begin to complete the centre by adding accommodations for the medical team.

Ambatofotsy Medical Centre
Ambatofotsy Medical Centre
Ambatofotsy Medical Centre
Ambatofotsy Medical Centre

Children play area in Ariha, Syria

Designed play areas for children at a refugee camp

At Ariha in Syrian Arab Republic
In 2016
By Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada
Local partners: SARD association

From 2011 to 2016, the Syrian conflict led to 220,000 deaths and the displacement of 7.6 million individuals, ¾ of whom were women and children. Marya Zarif is an Aleppo native who co-founded the Let me Play Foundation to provide refugee children with the play areas needed for their development and to help them overcome their trauma. A joint creative team including Let me Play, ASFQ, a large team of volunteers, child psychologists, occupational therapists and specialists in play areas and environmental design came together in partnership with the local SARD association to design a functional and technical plan including all the information required to design a play area at the Ariha camp. A creative design workshop including 40 participants, was held in May 2016 to draw on the best ideas from a creative cart organized in Montreal to design the final plans. The project was then built in Ariha, providing a space for 146 children at the Ariha refugee camp to play. The objective is now to build more similar play areas at other Syrian camps.

ASF Q
ASF Q
ASF Q
ASF Q
ASF Q
ASF Q

1to1's Core Socio-Technical Tool Set

Informal Settlement Upgrading

At South Africa
From 2010 to 2019
By 1to1 Agency of Engagement - South Africa
Local partners: University of Johannesburg, Slovo Park Development Forum, Socio-Economic Rights Institute and Skotheni Network
Donors: Leverhulme Grant and University of Manchester: Global Development Institute

„1to1 has developed a set of core tools that support their work in spatial development projects in South Africa. These tools have been developed to assist with the complexities of socio-technical urban development and have been developed as a means of addressing issues of language, spatial literacy and various positional issues.
Codes of Engagement are the underlying principles that guide the work practice of 1to1. This was co-developed with a diverse set of practitioners, grass-roots leaders and students as means of balancing the iterative nature of spatial development practice in a humanised and accessible way. This set of codes is seen a means of guiding other practitioners in the field, while allowing 1to1 to adapt and update the codes in their practice.
The Kickstarter Pack has been designed as dialogue tool to support the early stages of developing a project brief with residents and grass roots leaders of community-based/grassroots organisations. The first pilot project was developed in Slovo Park and serves as a crucial tool for grass-roots groups to use when determining their project brief, budget requirements and develop funding proposals to establish their projects.  
Time-line Tool is an artefact that has emerged over the 8-year period of 1to1’s work. The tool is seen as a means of physically building a language for development processes that require nuanced facilitation by grass-roots practitioners. The tool was designed as a means of managing expectations and allowing often marginalised voices a physical space to contribute and share in informal settlement development projects.
UISP Roadmap was developed as a visual support tool in support of local government practitioners and informal settlement resident leadership groups in navigating the Upgrading Informal Settlement Policy (UISP). The tool was conceptualised around the idea of a road map, and offers suggestions, warnings, and routes towards actioning the policy in the field as a means of demystifying policy and building a common understanding of governmental developmental mechanisms.”

UISP process
UISP process 2
The first pilot project developed in Slovo Park
project and timeline managing tool
Time-line Tool
presentation page
the workshop
the service offering tool

Technical support for earthquake affected households in Nepal

To provide social and technical support for approximately 600 households, in 3 earthquake affected Districts of Nepal - Dolakha, Dhading and Rasuwa

At Nepal
By Architecture Sans Frontières - Nepal
Local partners: Pourakhi Nepal
Donors: Caritas Luxembourg

The main objective of this project was to improve housing conditions in earthquake affected communities in selected wards of Dolakha, Rasuwa and Dhading districts through five aspects:
1.    Social Mobilization
2.    Technical Assistance
3.    Tiered Assistance
4.    Market Development
5.    Local building culture

We started the project in June with household survey along with community mapping. The survey was done to assess the need and status of the reconstruction of the target beneficiaries with their understanding of local building culture.
Demo house was constructed to promote local building culture and to train the local builders and masons to build earthquake resistant houses following government standards and codes.  The completion of demo house served as an exemplar for the community to start reconstruction of their houses following local building culture and government standards. This further paved the way for them to become eligible for the government grant. Under this project, our team on site supported these beneficiaries in this process by providing regular technical support, house drawings and required information. In addition, we short listed most vulnerable beneficiaries to provide them with top up grant to assist in the reconstruction process.
Furthermore, we also provided vocational training like Kiwi, cardamon plantation, hospitality and plumbing training to the selected locals to enhance their skill and livelihood.
We provided all of our beneficiaries with required technical assistance to complete the reconstruction of their houses till the completion of the project period in June 2019. Till then, almost all the targeted beneficiaries had either completed or were constructing their houses and nearing completion.

earthquakes_nepal_cardamon
Training at the cardamon plantation
earthquakes_nepal_house
Completed house
earthquakes_nepal_house 2
Demo house house
earthquakes_nepal_house 3
Demo house under construction
earthquakes_nepal_house 4
House in Dolakha under construction
earthquakes_nepal_house 5
Applying mud plaster to the demo house
earthquakes_nepal_areal
Magapauwa

Re-cover(y)

Community participation methods

At LONDON in United Kingdom
In 2006
By Architecture Sans Frontières - UK
Local partners: London Architecture Biennale

Re-Cover(y) was a project launched by ASF UK for the London Architecture Biennale, 2006. It involved a team of students and architects, lead by Peruvian architect Mariana Leguia. The aim of the installation was to demonstrate how peoples’ interactions with London and its built environment are changing, and raise issues of development, society and sustainability in relation to urban settlement.

Traditional design practice was abandoned in favour of more participatory and democratic methods of design. Through unconventional methods of mapping the participants discovered contrasts, idiosyncrasies and qualities that might have otherwise been missed in Vernon Square near Kings Cross in London.

Different methods were used for generating design ideas encouraging students to take on the roles of ‘user’, ‘negotiator’ and ‘technician’ exploring the potential of the site and resources available. All of the materials had been salvaged or donated including pallets, carpet tiles, plastic bottles, 2 sails and 3 doors. The installation allowed people to see the potential in the space and ideas for the future change.

Category: Workshop & Community Participation Medium / Technology / Material: Recycled Waste, Pallets, Carpet tiles & Plastic bottles Typology: Mapping
workshop site
workshop sketch
workshop sketch

Earth construction and community project

Land-rights recognition

At AMAICHA DEL VALLE in Argentina
In 2009
By Architectes Sans Frontières - France
Local partners: Terre Construite
Donors: Self funding

The association Terre Construite/Tierra Construida bases its approach on earth construction techniques, as a political answer to the issues of construction economy. Its involvment inside the Amaicha del Valle community strengthened this position, facilitating the community to build its economic and social autonomy. Natives communities have been recognized since the new Argentinian Constitution in 1994. At Amaicha del Valle, only 52.812 of the 132.000 ha of claimed lands were given back through a cadastral sketch in 2002. The administrative process for the legal restitution of the land is not over yet. Thus the struggle continues for the recognition of the whole territory against big land-owners and the constitutional context.

TC, in partnership with ASF-France, was actively involved in this work by drawing a precise map of the territorial limits, with the help of the “Cedula Real”, a 1716 text in which the king of Spain did recognize the existence of the community. The project manager of ASF, in a frame of action by TC, works closely with the cacique (chief of the community) on several projects:

- Establishment of a urban code

- Recovery of a plot, in order to refurbish it into a community development center (hosteria)

- Building of workshops for a school for the disabled (escuela San Roque)

- Technical support for a bridge construction (la Fronterita)

- Refurbishment of a building for tourism purposes, in order to develop the economic autonomy of the community (Pulperia)

- Survey of Quilmes’ ruins site, to improve the rainwater system which is currently damaging the archeological heritage.

In addition, the “Tierra Construida association house” allows architecture students to get earth construction training with amaicheños (Amaicha inhabitants), who still build with this material.

environment
participatory design
Earth construction
final construction

Building the Guambian Community

Social development and settlement improval

At MORALES in Colombia
In 2007
By Architetti Senza Frontiere Italia
Local partners: Fundacion Horizonte of the socialgroup Asmet Salud

The project has the purpose of contributing to the reinforcement of the social, ethnic and cultural background of the “Guambian” native community of the “Cabildo La Bonanza” by means of the improvement of its habitat, that is to say the living, hygienic, sanitary conditions and infrastructures. Beneficiaries are composed of 205 Guambian families coming from Resguardo of Guambia Silvia and compelled, since 1930, to move into the east part of Morales Municipality for the lack of lands to live on. The Community faced the difficulties coming from settling in a new land, with the risk of loosing its own identity as a native ancestral community.

Gambian Community asked for support in the reinforcement and improvement of its settlement, as well as in the process of social and cultural development. According to this request, ASF Onlus elaborated the following project in cooperation with the local community:
a) improvement of the present hygienic, sanitary, living conditions and infrastructure, necessary to guarantee the available habitat for the community. For this purpose, the project will provide to the building of 20 houses for 20 families together with the basic infrastructures linked to them, in status of “auto-costruzione”;
b) creation of a laboratory for the manufacturing of “guadua” (a kind of material similar to bamboo) and of wood, useful for the houses’ construction;
c) promotion of training activities in communitary organization, leadership, building activities, manufacturing, creation of small factories, with the aim of strengthening the communitary organization and starting up productive activities in favour of the whole community.

The project aims to make all the people involved (target group and local partners) able to develop their own technical and organization abilities by means of a communitary, synergic partecipation between the whole native population and the target group. Thus the project aims to contribute in making it easier to begin a sustainable development process.

location
housing
wooden construction

Building houses in recovered land

Social minority communities, social status & living conditions

At CHAMPERICO in Guatemala
From 2005 to 2006
By Arquitectura Sin Fronteras - Spain
Local partners: Coordinadora Nacional Indígena Campesina
Donors: Public funding

The main goal of this project is to support the process of ‘Selfconstruction of Dwellings’ in the Victorias 3 community, founded in 1999 after a long period of organisation and vindication by the community, which culminated in the recovery of the land. With this project we seek, in addition to the symbolic value of the land, to allow for the families in Victorias 3 to improve their health and hygienic conditions as well as their economic situation. Moreover, by providing a stable habitat, living conditions within the family, social relationships, and the degree of empowerment of the community will be improved. Hence, they can proceed with this process of human development, originally set off by themselves together with the organisation for the recovery of Mother Earth. The dwellings will be built with autochthonous equipment, materials and technologies, to facilitate usability and supply and to prevent the risk of technological dependency. The benefi ciaries themselves, who previously followed a capacity building course, will provide labour. Upkeep of dwellings is therefore guaranteed by the owners themselves.

project
building process
Subscribe to Community Participation