Gaza Self-Build Prototype
Rapid self-build domestic construction
In light of the current siege of the Gaza Strip, and the mass destruction that took place in recent attacks by the Israeli Army, there is an urgent need for reconstructing Gaza. What is needed is a new kind of vision that can address the daily hardship caused by economic and political conditions there.
NGA in collaboration with a team of experts and consultants is thus working on a ‘self-build’ prototype proposal that will help the local residents of Gaza to rebuild their damaged homes. Unlike some other recent proposals and interventions for the region, this project aims not just to provide short-term relief -- i.e. ‘eat to survive’, as locals describe it -- that won’t impact on broader reconstruction and development. Rather, it aims to develop an active framework for rapid reconstruction with the participation of the local community, leading in turn to a more sustainable future both in terms of management/social engagement and also environmental conditions.
The aims of the project operate at a variety of levels, all of which revolve around environmental awareness, participatory design and the building process; they also embrace key local issues of education and employment. The uniqueness of the proposed design for the self-build construction technique stems from the fact that it needs to be independent of any external materials or workforce from outside the borders of Gaza. Instead it has to rely on using local materials, work and techniques. These materials are either the product of building demolition or are easily available in the locality, yet can be easily recycled or processed for construction purposes.
The project will have four phases: the first phase of this project, covering the basic research, data collection and social mapping, is funded by UN HABITAT and is currently in process; the second phase will involve fieldwork research and detailed on-site studies; the third and fourth phases will then follow up on the design-and-build project and assess the effects of its realization.
Updates will be posted as soon as the first phase of the project is finished.
The team currently working on the Gaza Self-Build project has been selected on their expertise and experience -- mainly in self-build projects and community organisation, along with inventive ways of reusing existing materials and involving public participation. All these aspects are critical to the success of this project.
An architect and sustainable construction consultant who specialises in sustainable construction, timber framing and self-help housing. He has 20 years of experience working with unskilled, non-professional people in designing and building their own houses. Also has experience in training self-builders in terms of organization, finance, design, project management and construction.
Principal partner in GOLZARI - NG Architects. He is also the Architecture Pathway Leader at University of Arts and MA design module leader at the University of Westminster, both in central London. Highly experienced in environmental design, urban regeneration and participatory projects. He has also worked on the design of a number of prototypes in the Middle East that are based on issues of environmental performance, sustainability and cultural identity.
One of the UK's leading experts in rammed earth construction and head of the In Situ Rammed Earth Company. He is responsible for a number of high-profile projects, including the ‘Big Brother’ house and the Eden Project visitor centre.
Recently graduated with First Class (Hons) degree in architecture from Central Saint Martins with RIBA Part 1, where his work was engaged in questioning the process of demolition of high-rise estates in the Parisian suburbs. He was as subsequently awarded the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship to participate in the project for housing reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
Associate in NG Architects. Yara lived and worked in Palestine/Ramallah until 2005, where she worked as an architect in Riwaq: Centre for Architectural Conservation. Yara is especially interested in street-based urbanism and the role of the community in re-shaping the built environment.