IKEA’s flat-pack refugee structure, the Better Shelter, has been awarded Design of the Year by London’s respected Design Museum. Developed in collaboration with the United Nations, the modular, solar-powered housing units have just 68 components, making them easily assembled in just a matter of hours. Since production started in 2015, thousands of Better Shelters have been installed in countries around the world to help with the ongoing refugee crisis.
The 17.5-square-meter shelters, which can sleep a family of five, are made out of galvanized steel frames with recyclable polymer plastic walls and lockable doors. A singular rooftop solar panel charges the indoor LED lamp and a USB port capable of charging mobile phones. Since production started on the shelters in 2015, thousands of units have been delivered to countries around the world to be used as homes, medical facilities, food distribution points, and offices.
The Better Shelter took home both the Architecture award and the 2017 Beazly Design Grand Prize this year. Presented by London’s Design Museum, the awards recognize “design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”
Images via Better Shelter