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Idea by

Nina Valerie Kolowratnik & Johannes Pointl

http://www.fluchtraum.at

Vienna, Austria
Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architectural researcher working in the context of forced migration and claims to land and property. Johannes Pointl is a practicing architect and urban designer focusing on the intersection of social housing and urban policies. Together they have been working on projects on spatial manifestations of European asylum politics, which have been presented at the Biennale in Venice 2016, the Oslo Triennale 2016 and the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.

For Emancipated Spaces of Arrival


A catalogue of demands for self-determined spaces of refuge and arrival in Austria

For Emancipated Spaces of Arrival


A catalogue of demands for self-determined spaces of refuge and arrival in Austria
Architecture as emancipatory critique against dominant power structures in European asylum systems
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

Build spaces are an integral part of conditions of refuge on various levels and different scales. In Austria there are no legally determined minimum standards for the design of asylum seeker accommodation and proprietors can only orient themselves using extremely vaguely defined guidelines. In the absence of concrete spatial policies it is left to the goodwill of the host whether an accommodation can become a protected space which enables a safe arrival. As part of an ongoing research effort we initiated, this publication project is putting forward seven demands that challenge the Austrian asylum system and decision-makers to guarantee a humane and self-determined form of arrival.
Rather than resorting to mitigate the state of exception and simply react to the given circumstances with emergency architecture, we argue for architecture to become an active participant in the political discourse on spaces of asylum.


Johannes Puch­leitner is highlighting in his mapping “Dead Spaces” the correlation between major refugee movements and incremental investments in the built structure of a small scale accommodation since the 1950s. In this example, located at the Austrian-Hungarian border, the absurd number of additions to the ground floor of an existing building resulted in a labyrinth of rooms and corridors without daylight and with very limited usability.

Interior view of asylum seeker accommodation with opaquely masked window. Photo by Johannes Puchleitner (April 2016)

"Institution of Asylum" by Birgit Miksch visualizes rules and processes of the Austrian asylum system in a fictional building. The choice of pairing a set of architectural elements with the different steps a refugee has to take in Austria reveals the degrees of pressure and forces refugees experience. The mapping proposes a critical reading of the existing asylum system and creates a basis for discussions about the redesign of existing asylum policies.

Exterior view of asylum seeker accommodation in rural Austria. Photo by Johannes Puchleitner (April 2016)

The drawing “Places of Retreat” by Enrico Weiser analyses the importance of refugees being able to construct their personal spaces within accommodations that force them to share the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom with complete strangers for several weeks or months. The retreat into virtual space is equally important as to resort to spatial tactics for the appropriation of the immediate living environment, mostly practiced on the scale of the individual room or furniture.

For Emancipated Spaces of Arrival


A catalogue of demands for self-determined spaces of refuge and arrival in Austria

For Emancipated Spaces of Arrival


A catalogue of demands for self-determined spaces of refuge and arrival in Austria
Architecture as emancipatory critique against dominant power structures in European asylum systems
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

Build spaces are an integral part of conditions of refuge on various levels and different scales. In Austria there are no legally determined minimum standards for the design of asylum seeker accommodation and proprietors can only orient themselves using extremely vaguely defined guidelines. In the absence of concrete spatial policies it is left to the goodwill of the host whether an accommodation can become a protected space which enables a safe arrival. As part of an ongoing research effort we initiated, this publication project is putting forward seven demands that challenge the Austrian asylum system and decision-makers to guarantee a humane and self-determined form of arrival.
Rather than resorting to mitigate the state of exception and simply react to the given circumstances with emergency architecture, we argue for architecture to become an active participant in the political discourse on spaces of asylum.


Johannes Puch­leitner is highlighting in his mapping “Dead Spaces” the correlation between major refugee movements and incremental investments in the built structure of a small scale accommodation since the 1950s. In this example, located at the Austrian-Hungarian border, the absurd number of additions to the ground floor of an existing building resulted in a labyrinth of rooms and corridors without daylight and with very limited usability.

Interior view of asylum seeker accommodation with opaquely masked window. Photo by Johannes Puchleitner (April 2016)

"Institution of Asylum" by Birgit Miksch visualizes rules and processes of the Austrian asylum system in a fictional building. The choice of pairing a set of architectural elements with the different steps a refugee has to take in Austria reveals the degrees of pressure and forces refugees experience. The mapping proposes a critical reading of the existing asylum system and creates a basis for discussions about the redesign of existing asylum policies.

Exterior view of asylum seeker accommodation in rural Austria. Photo by Johannes Puchleitner (April 2016)

The drawing “Places of Retreat” by Enrico Weiser analyses the importance of refugees being able to construct their personal spaces within accommodations that force them to share the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom with complete strangers for several weeks or months. The retreat into virtual space is equally important as to resort to spatial tactics for the appropriation of the immediate living environment, mostly practiced on the scale of the individual room or furniture.


Idea by

Nina Valerie Kolowratnik & Johannes Pointl
Vienna
Austria
Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architectural researcher working in the context of forced migration and claims to land and property. Johannes Pointl is a practicing architect and urban designer focusing on the intersection of social housing and urban policies. Together they have been working on projects on spatial manifestations of European asylum politics, which have been presented at the Biennale in Venice 2016, the Oslo Triennale 2016 and the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.