Lanclus . Aerts


Tom Lanclus . Jasper Aerts . KULeuven diploma . Tutors: Lieven De Cauter, Guido Geenen, Ismae'l Sheikh Hassan

As one of the 64 Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, Gaza camp has undergone a profound transformation throughout its nearly fifty years of existence. Departing from an emergency tent settlement for the 11 500 refugees that fled from the Gaza strip as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, it gradually evolved towards a unique, hyper congested urban entity bringing along a wide range of problems. Since its establishment in 1968 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), it has been this relief and human development agency that administers the camp and takes care of its refugees. However, the camp lacks any spatial vision for future developments within the camp.

As a collaboration between the KU Leuven and UNRWA’s Camp Improvement Program, this bipartite thesis seeks to acknowledge and reinforce the latent potentials and possibilities of this human settlement in exile. By means of both objective and explorative mappings, supplemented with a set of spatial readings, we have tried to distillate a spatial frame that constitutes the precondition of the camp’s future development. The second part of the thesis seeks to explore the potentialities of this conceptual though spatial framework by means of a physical translation into an architectural intervention.
Through the embracement of a collection of hiatuses along the official camp border within the dilating fabric, a new space of centrality is introduced that aims to respond to the camp’s altering needs. An intervention of two retaining walls emanates from the ambition to reshape the landscape at the camp’s border in order to activate the emptiness and to avoid a possible deprivation of this distinct armature of open spaces. An excessive dimensioned (infra)structure provides a durable carrier within which the camp can continue to thrive, allowing to anticipate the camp’s unknown prospective developments.

Reshaping the border as a central space for encounters and interchange.
Designer(s): Tom Lanclus, Jasper Aerts
KULeuven Faculteit ingenieurswetenschappen, Architectuur
Tutor(s): Lieven De Cauter, Guido Geenen, Ismae'l Sheikh Hassan

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