Setareh Mohammadpour



Architecture & Social Agency




Social Integrity in Borderless Architecture
The role of architecture to mitigate social isolation of homeless/refugee individuals


21st century metropolises have been facing significant issues, including homelessness and refugee crisis. In this regard, what the role of architecture could be to mitigate social isolation of these vulnerable individuals within the society? As there are enormous social and individual drawbacks rooted in homelessness such as mental illnesses, drug addiction and family breakdown, a comprehensive scheme is required to deal with this issue. In this project, St. Canice church has been proposed as a community – based foundation where refugees, homeless and jobless people will be settled for a given period of time. It includes four distinct areas of affordable housing, job sector, community center and recreational facilities. This program creates an opportunity for the residents to follow their passions and more importantly become skilled individuals who are able to become independent enough to seek for future job within the society.

As to master planning, the design presents new version for the St. Canice church. A new welcoming atmosphere is designed in which borders between indoor and outdoor spaces are getting blurry. By considering open spaces as being dominant on the site, the current site isolation is broken. Buildings are designed in a way that they do not block the church view to keep the church as a valuable heritage on the site. Community garden and greenery spaces as well as the outdoor amphitheatre provide the residents and local community with an engaging area.

In regards to buildings designs, the idea was to merge indoor and outdoor spaces so borders get meaningless. In this respect, glass operable walls are used to convey the meaning of openness where users feel someone is receiving them with open arms. In other words, indoor spaces are designed to be fully open to the public. Flexible and activity-based interiors allow for happening various events ranging from workshops to exhibitions.The apartment building consists of various apartment types to suit different families and single individuals. Other than controlling the sun penetration through the building, façade screens create a lively façade that changes constantly.