Seven cleverly designed emergency homes around the world
When workers at a vending machine factory in Ukraine had their homes bombed, the owner Alex Stepura repurposed the facility to build them new ones. From that, Terra Monada was born, a company set up to produce good-quality, relatively affordable modular homes to replace the bomb damage. “The ambition was to create something that was strong, elegant, simple, and quick to assemble,” says UK-based partner Chris Baxter.
Now re-named HOMers, the company is growing fast. Stepura’s son Nikita Stepura, who is involved in the business, explains that the homes would also work well for the many Ukrainian refugees whose houses have been damaged and who now live elsewhere. “When there’s a peaceful resolution, their HOMers shelters could be dismantled and reassembled back in their home-town or village.” This design has potential beyond conflict situations, Baxter believes, and could be a solution for those made homeless by the recent earthquake in Turkey, or in any country suffering from a shortage of social housing.
The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR estimates that there are 103 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. The agency has a handbook on the subject of shelter and a catalogue of different shelter styles. In the handbook, it defines adequate shelter as “protection from the elements… a space in which [people] can live and store belongings, and… privacy, comfort and emotional security.”
HOMers is just one of the many designs out there with the potential to help people around the world in different housing crises. On World Refugee Day we look at some of the homes created around the world to house people fleeing war, disaster or hardship.