The year 2022 was marked by several socio-cultural and economic crises across the globe, from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the increasing cost of living worldwide, combined with a number of natural disasters such as the devastating floods in Pakistan and hurricane Ian in the US. In these difficult times, architects are stepping up and embracing their role in developing design-based solutions to humanitarian crises, ranging from temporary shelters and affordable housing schemes to centers for protecting at-risk groups such as homeless underage girls, children from low-income environments, or families in need of medical care.
This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights projects that engage with their local communities, offering safe spaces for disadvantaged and at-risk groups. From a sanctuary for homeless girls in Iraq to an affordable housing project in Prague’s first skyscraper, this selection features projects centered around people, their needs, and desires. Many of the projects employ local materials such as clay bricks to lower the construction costs. They also reuse existing buildings and hope to engage the local community in building and appropriating the proposed spaces.