Featured in the United States Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennial, this emergency shelter is part of Gans & Company’s continuing project in transitional and relief housing. The project began with a winning entry in The Architecture for Humanity competition for housing Kosovar refugees and continued to develop with funding from Johnny Walkers Keep on Walking program.
The argument behind the Roll-Out house is that refugee shelters need to contain domestically scaled infrastructure that supply sanitary and cooking facilities to the individual family. Too often latrines expose refugees to disease, while the search for fuel exposes women to violence and the environment to degradation. The Roll-Out house is designed to support family structure, health and safety and cultural mores within refugee camps. It could also allow displaced persons to return home before civic scaled infrastructure is restored.
Two "hollow columns" support the roof and enclose domestic infrastructure. Gans & Company explored many materials and geometries for these columns in light of the different environmental and cultural conditions that they will encounter. For the Biennial, the team made a kitchen powered by the roofs solar panel from a hyper-strong, micro-folded, insulated waterproof paper, and the shower of bamboo, fed by water collected from the roof.
Design Team: Deborah Gans, Miriam Peterson, Jocelyn Elliot, Matthew Jelacic
Industrial Engineers: Dr. Basily and Dr. Elsayad of Rutgers University, who developed the micro-folding technology