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DENCITY – 2017 Winners Announced!

SHELTER has already announced the Winnners of its International Competition, DENCITY. The intent of this competition is to foster new conceptual ideas about how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities. Contestants considered how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

Now, the results are in! From new ways to think about refugee camps to flooding solutions, this year’s entries are both innovative and elegant. Congratulations to the following 2017 Dencity Winners:


  • 1rst Place: Palestine: The Right to Water


  • 2nd Place: Syria: Beyond Slums


  • 3rd Place: Delhi: Flood Resilience


And congratulations to the 6 Special Mentions too, from which we would like to highlight three proposals for African cities:

  • Arrival Market│Entry by: Arnout De Schryver 

A layered context asks for a layered, but simple architectural proposal. The proposed infrastructure will be developed from two different directions. A basic top down investment invested by NGO’s, the government, or both and an organically grown bottom up investment by its users (rural migrants).

The basic top down investment will be a clean structural grid, built with a mix of prefab concrete elements and “in situ” poured concrete. The structural principle and material choice is based on the local knowledge and cheap but strong, easy at hand materials. The scale, dimension and organisation of the structural grid is based on several strategies that we maintained in order to provide an infrastructure that indeed allows and embrace the self-maintenance process of urbanisation.


  • Makoko│Entry by: Aloysius Goh, Daniel Ho, Leong YiBin 

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying small stones”. Positive change is an arduous process and can never proceed without self-understanding. Crafted as a timeline, our proposed interventions start out small and slowly growing beyond the regional level. Beginning with the curbing of waste as a community through a collective of individual efforts, it acts as a trigger to extend their reach to the government. Promoting cooperation between the Lagos government and the Makoko community, the future of Makoko will head in the right direction.


  • Resistance Through Form│Entry by: Mohamed Ismail

This proposal is a retooling of long-existing building practices with universal materials and burgeoning technologies in a context familiar to the designer, intentionally limiting the scope while engaging in the larger issues of form-active structures and housing insecurity in sub-Saharan nations. There is precedence in Heinz Isler’s elegant concrete shells, Felix Candela’s economic doubly ruled surfaces, Rafael Guastavino’s versatile thin-tile vaults, and Eladio Dieste’s graceful brick vaults. In the end, this proposal explores the connections between structural analysis and architectural design in a context that is poorly understood. Research is lacking in the potential application of advanced form-finding technologies and material explorations to the widespread issues of housing insecurity. Moreover, although there is a significant body of work dedicated to housing insecurity in Khartoum and policy suggestions, it often overlooks the fact that most homes in Sudan are built through individual labor. Ultimately, this proposal seeks a solution to Khartoum’s housing crisis by starting with the solitary masonry unit. Rather than investigating the benefits of widespread policy reform, this proposal looks at the assemblage of an earthen home and asks how it can better serve populations like that of Khartoum. This involves an understanding of thermal performance, climactic comfort, structural capacity, housing traditions, and more.


For further information

For further information about the Winners and Special Mentions, visit the official website.

For further information about the Competition, visit the Article on Apsaidal.

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