best architects 18
Vienna / Austria
Caramel’s task was to design a »refugee camp« using a vacant office building in Vienna. Safeguarding privacy, as in marking a place where someone can rest undisturbed by external influences was, for Caramel, the first and most important subject of their »intervention«. Rather than posing a limitation, the time limit became a constructive part of their thought process. Starting with a minimal design repertoire, Caramel first developed elements for dividing up the space and then creating some privacy in the former open-plan offices. This simple formal language was extended to the design of the communal areas. A central criterion of Caramel architects’ design is that all elements can be rapidly dismounted and easily reassembled in a different location. The design was first tested on the residents – who responded with unanimous enthusiasm – and then quickly installed with their help throughout the space. A sun umbrella three metres in diameter forms the basis – and a positive symbol. By adding standard POLO-KAL plastic pipes and electric pipes, with textile curtains attached to them by cable ties, a sequence of customisable spaces can be created. With personal lights and light switches, the minimal apartments are ready to be given personal touches. What is special about this project is that the focus was not on setting up anonymous temporary living spaces for 280 people but rather catering to individual needs and wishes.