More than 150 Better Shelter units have been installed by UNHCR and implementing partners in the Kara Tepe site in Lesvos where they function as temporary accommodation, offices and medical aid clinics.
Image courtesy of Better Shelter
By Maya Rhodan
January 30, 2017

A refugee shelter designed by the Swedish furniture giant Ikea, Better Shelter, and the United Nations is the 2017 winner of the Beazley Design of the Year award.

”We are incredibly proud to be bringing home both the Beazley Designs of the Year Award for Architecture and this year’s Grand Prize – especially in a year with such intense competition,” Johan Karlsson of Better Shelter said in a statement.

According to CNN, 16,000 units have been distributed around the world — including in Iraq, Djibouti, Greece, and Niger — since 2015.

The flat-pack shelters are big enough to house a family of five and comes with a solar panel for power. CNN reports they have been used as homes, clinics, and offices around the globe.

The shelters beat out 70 projects, all of which had to “promote or deliver change, capture the spirit of the year, enable accessibility and have a developed and innovative design,” according to a press release. Submitted designs include a cup designed to replicate an earthly drinking experience in space, the album art for David Bowie’s album “Blackstar,” a smart bike helmet, and an Adidas running shoe made out of recycled ocean plastic.




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