Finalists of the 2016-17 World Habitat Awards

Senegal, Switzerland, USA,



Since 1976, the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) has been a catalyst for social change through architecture.

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Finalists of the 2016-17 World Habitat Awards Since 1976, the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) has been a catalyst for social change through architecture. Architecture for everyone, community-led where possible. Twelve projects in this category have been announced as the finalists of the World Habitat Awards, run by BSHF.

Resilient Social Housing, Chile

The  2016-17 World Habitat Awards, organised by the BHSF for architecture that aims to resolve the most pressing housing problems - post-disaster housing, community-led approaches, homes for marginalised and vulnerable groups and developing local skills for generating income - have shortlisted 12 finalists, two more than the 2014-15 edition.
The shortlisted projects come from all over the world but they all respond to the desire to improve the long-term quality of life through architecture.

Urban Shlter Project. Jordania

50,000 Houses for War Victims, Sri Lanka

So, Passiv Solar Verandas in Afghanistan is an inhabitable, comfortable passive-standard housing in the harsh climate of one of the world's most war-torn countries. Urban Shelter Project, Jordan deals with the plight of Syrian refugees by refurbishing previously uninhabitable properties to provide medium-term rent-free homes and helping them fit in to their host community by providing it with long-term assets. In Sri Lanka, 50,000 Houses for War Victims also addresses a humanitarian crisis - the Sri Lankan civil war - to help displaced communities rebuild their homes.

A Roof, A Skill, A Market - Burkina Faso

A Roof, A Skill, A Market in  Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Benin and Ghana is a Pan-African programme of training for sustainable construction based on ancient techniques. Conversely, another project in Kenya, Promoting eco-sanitation in informal settlements is all about community sanitation facilities to improve access to water and sanitation, generating income and additional benefits for communities.

Reconstruction of Habitat, Mexico

Intercultural Neighbourhood, Argentina attempts to develop housing and intercultural communal living between the indigenous Mapuche and impoverished creole communities. Resilient Social Housing, Chile proposes resilient and adaptable social housing enabling coastal communities to return to their villages after a tsunami. Reconstruction of Habitat, Mexico is self-built housing in low-income communities vulnerable to disasters, using traditional construction techniques.

MoreThan Housing, Switzerland

Stonewall Housing, UK

More than Housing, Switzerland is a cooperative housing programme focusing on environmental sustainability and social diversity. Unique in the UK is Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust, a community-led regeneration of an entire neighbourhood, one of the poorest in the UK. The other British project, Stonewall Housing provides housing advice, advocacy and accommodation specifically for the LGBT community, often marginalised by mainstream services. 

Iberville Offsites, USA

Iberville Offsites: affordable homes resisting gentrification, USA renovates historic homes to provide affordable housing for low-income families in neighbourhoods vulnerable to both gentrification and natural disasters.
We look forward to seeing which of the 12 finalists will be the outright winner, but we can be sure that each one of these projects is a big step towards a better world, based on architecture.

Christiane Bürklein

World Habitat Awards 2016-17
Images courtesy of World Habitat Awards / BSHF