Innovative Technology-Driven Affordable Housing

The Context
In the middle of 2016, when Europe was confronted by the prospect of housing large numbers of asylum-seekers from Syria and surrounding countries, two organisations in the Netherlands decided to hold a competition to seek and promote innovation in housing design for the new migrants. While the first initiative for the move came from the COA (the Dutch organisation responsible for taking care of asylum-seekers), the Government of Netherlands, through its Chief Architect, Floris van Alkemade, decided to broaden the scope of the competition to include not only international migrants, but also to seek innovative solutions for other migrants (like students, young professionals and elderly people) coming to the Dutch cities. What all migrants generally have in common is that they are seeking affordable accommodation. The problem is compounded by the fact that the number of migrants is difficult to predict and when the need occurs, large numbers of housing units are required in a very short time. The main requirement for the designs was therefore to come up with innovative, flexible solutions to meet the constantly fluctuating demand from the urban migrants.

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