Architecture 4Humanities

In 2019, the 2nd edition of Building 4Humanity Design Competition (B4H-DC) aims to address the notion of having architecture as a social and cultural facility, by seeking design ideas that would contribute towards the social inclusion and integration of Syrian war refugees in the Turkish border city of Reyhanlı. The competition has two separate categories: it welcomes submissions from students and recent graduates, as well as experienced professionals. Prof. Andres Lepik, Director of the Architekturmuseum der TUM, is among the jury members.

Picture © Building 4Humanity Design Competition

Over 5.6 million people have fled Syria since the outbreak of war in 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond (UNHCR, 2018). Turkey alone has accommodated a staggering number of more than 3.6 million Syrians over this period of time. At least 90% of these people are living outside of refugee camps in urban or peri-urban areas, of which 70% are women and children. It is estimated that 40% (about 380,000) of Syrian children currently have no access to education and basic health care services.
Reyhanlı is a small Turkish town bordering with Syria in the province of Hatay located on the southeast of Turkey. As the main gateway from Turkey to Aleppo in Syria, the town has become the main entry point for Syrians seeking asylum during the escalating conflict. As a consequence, in the last 8 years, the population of Reyhanlı has nearly doubled, progressively absorbing hundreds of thousands of Syrians who do not envisage a restoration of peace in their home country in the short term.
Although featuring a quiet urban environment, Reyhanlı is not entirely free from the risk of war aggression.
In addition to terrorist attacks, Reyhanlı has experienced social problems due to the sudden rise in population. These problems pertain to poverty, unemployment, shortage of water and electricity, a lack of infrastructure, insufficient public facilities for housing, health, education and recreation. 

Design Challenge
To date, nearly 120,000 Syrians have settled in Reyhanlı under temporary protection. In view of the needs for social inclusion and integration, this competition invites students and professionals to propose radical but applicable design ideas for transitional shelters and social and intercultural Service Centre (only for professional teams). 
PDF Download Design Brief

All participants are encouraged to critically investigate the site in conjunction with an in-depth consideration for its immediate and wider context. Specifically, considerations should be given to:

  • selecting specific target groups, users and beneficiaries;
  • configuring a specific architectural program;
  • conducting architectural design;
  • specifing processes and features of construction;
  • and proposing organization and management of building complex.

Deadline for questions: June 31, 2019 
Deadline of registration: October 1, 2019
Closing of the submission period at 11:59 PM (GMT+03:00): October 10, 2019 

Eligibility criteria

  • The student category competition is open to all postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate students and recent graduates (graduating in 2019 summer).
  • All students and recent graduates should be under 31 years of age.
  • Multidisciplinary teams are highly encouraged.

Participating Institutions and Roles
Commissioning body:
Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara, Turkey Ortadoğu Vakfı (Middle East Foundation), Turkey ​ Organizers:
A.M. Architekturmuseum der TUM, Germany
Alliance of Architectural Modernity, Taiwan
Building 4Humanity, Designing and Reconstructing Communities Association (B4H-DC competition holder), Portugal
Department of Architecture, Shih Chien University, Taiwan
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Beira Interior, Portugal
The Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design (CIAUD), Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon Portugal ​
Competition Directors:
CHIU Chen-Yu (Turkey), Nuno MARTINS (Portugal), and WANG Chun-Hsiung (Taiwan) ​
Director of Executive Team:

Further information about the Building 4Humanity Design Competition