MUPP/MUD students Israa Darwish and Diala Makki, LDEM alumna Nour Farhat, and fifth year architecture student Louai Kaakani won the third prize in the CIU Habitat International Competition. The students were advised and supported by Professors Mona Fawaz (MUPP/MUD) and Yaser Abunnasr (LDEM) from AUB and Habib Debs (Practicing Architect/Urban Designer, URBI). The project titled Flood Pulse: From Threat to Opportunity: Capitalizing on Water Flows in Guasma Sur responded to the competition theme "Challenges of Marginal Habitat in the Contemporary Southern Globe: Resilient Communities”. The third place responded to the need to resettle informal settlement dwellers in the city of Guasmo Sur (Ecuador), a vulnerable community living in mangrove swamps that experiences regular flooding. Our students were the only team from outside Ecuador to win a spot in this competition. The student advisor team worked during the summer of 2016 and results of the competition were announced in October of the same year.
The Competition was organized by the National Government of Ecuador, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and in collaboration with the Ecuadorian Architect Association, Pichincha Province – CAE-P with the purpose of obtaining innovative proposals to intervene on human settlements that present common problems for various regions of the world. In order to overcome the challenges of designing an intervention in an area completely unfamiliar to them, they spent hours on Google Earth, navigating streets and analyzing landscapes, buildings, everyday elements, etc. They also went to Hayy el Sellom in Beirut’s suburbs where they studied comparatively the effects of living on overflowing, dirty river banks and derived ideas for their project.
The winning projects can be seen at this link: http://ciuhabitat.com/preliminary-projects-theme-3-winners-and-participants/?lang=en