Skip to main content

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.


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.

Training at the cardamon plantation
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

Vulnerability and risk workshop

Seismically vulnerable region

At CHAMOLI in India
By Architecture Sans Frontières - UK
Local partners: SEEDS India and Gomti Prayag JanKalyan Parishae
Donors: Christian Aid and Self funding

In June 2008 the ‘Vulnerability and Risk Workshop’ series continued in India in Langasu Village, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand in partnership with the Indian NGO, SEEDS India and the local organisation, GPJKP. Chamoli district was at the epicentre of an earthquake in 1999 where almost 100 people lost their lives. This region is vulnerable in terms of seismic activities and there is a high probability of another earthquake in the near future.

ASF-UK engaged in a complex two-week programme of investigation, design, procurement, negotiation and construction of a small intermediate shelter behind the local school. This shelter would serve not only as a prototype for the local community, but also as a much needed additional temporary classroom for this school. The brief was ambitious and the context in which the scenario was based broadly introduced the majority of issues development practitioners have to engage with, when working in a post-disaster scenario.

The design for the shelter developed as information on the different technologies/materials/ vernacular was collected in the area. Research into humanitarian standards from secondary sources was fed into the rigorous design process. Locally available materials were procured and local masons hired within a budget of £625. With a very ambitious programme a careful redesign was necessary to remain within the budget and finish the building on time.

The post workshop evaluation process revealed the successes and challenges of the workshop. An interim shelter was designed, procured and built in just 10 days and the group witnessed the process evolve through sketching, building and thinking. The participants had to juggle the overlapping agendas of the intermediate shelter and its future use as a school classroom which added an interesting dynamic to the process. The reflections and evaluation process have been formalized through the production of a publication following the workshop. Another task that a separate team was engaged in was designing solutions for retrofitting the existing school for earthquake resistance and to develop a model school proposal. This has been progressed further since the workshop and ASF-UK are supporting SEEDS and GPJKP to develop a funding proposal. One year on and the interim shelter is in full use as an additional classroom for the school.

Category: Workshop & Disaster Reconstruction Medium / Technology / Material: Timber & Concrete blocks Typology: Housing
design process
community children
building construction

Health Care Center

Tsunami 2004

From 2005 to 2006
By Arquitectos Sem Fronteiras - Portugal
Local partners: Health Ministry of Sri Lanka
Donors: Doctors of the World Portugal

Sri Lanka was one of the countries most affected by the Tsunami tragedy (more than 40.000 people died) and serious problems continue, mainly at the level of public health. The severe damage to health infrastructures is one of the leading problems today. Jaffna, one of the most affected regions, situated in the north of the country, continues to be neglected by international NGO’s and the government, due to the existing bad relationship with the Tamil.

In partnership with ASFP, Doctors of the World - Portugal (MDMP) intended to build a Centre of Primary Health Care in Jaffna. Along with the Health’s Centre, the MDMP will also expand their work through beneficial repairing at the Point Peter’s Hospital, renewal of the dental clinic and the construction of a blood bank. The ASF involvement consisted of allocating a suitable technician in the scope of construction management and technology. During a site visit, 2 ASFP technicians carried out a cautious and thorough survey in order to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the program.

The team assessed the following issues: social and technological context of the country and province of Jaffna, possible favourable locations for the health centre to be built and hospital units organization in order to rehabilitate those in most need.

Dental clinic and blood bank

Tsunami 2004

From 2005 to 2006
By Arquitectos Sem Fronteiras - Portugal
Local partners: Health Ministry of Sri Lanka
Donors: Doctors of the World Portugal

This project is the outcome of the visit realized by two ASFP technicians to Sri Lanka between the 23rd of November and the 8th of December in the scope of a partnership with the Doctors of the World - Portugal. The involved projects of the Doctors of the World - Portugal in Sri Lanka originated in the context of human relief after the 2004 Tsunami. The partnership between ASFP - MDMP intervened in the northern province of Jaffna and its main objective was the sanitization of two units of Point Peter’s Hospital.

The hospital is in need of critical maintenance work in several areas. Moreover, specific types of surgeries are not possible to carry out because of the inexistence of a blood bank. For example: in order to accomplish a simple appendicitis operation, the patients have to make a trip of one hour until the hospital of Jaffna. MDMP – ASFP will install a blood bank in one of the exterior blocks, in a small building that currently serves as warehouse. Also the redevelopment of the spaces intended for the Dental Clinic is planned. Currently, the Dental Clinic is placed inside of the hospital’s main building and is divided in three compartments.

The new project proposes to establish a connection between those three compartments: two of them will be designed as the operating room of the two dentists; the remaining compartment will serve as an in-between area subdivided into two autonomous spaces. These two compartments combined will work as a supporting area for cleansing and sterilization, and will also comprise of a secretary space.

dental clinic patients
Subscribe to Disaster Reconstruction