KOUTSOCHERO SHADE GARDEN
Koutochero Refugee camp is home to 1000 people living in insulated aluminium cabins fitted with small kitchens and individual bathrooms. While these are some of the best living conditions we've seen in a refugee camp in Greece the camp is remote, situated between a marble quarry and a busy highway. The nearest village is aprox 1.5km away and with no where in camp that functions as a shaded communal space there was a request put in to provide one.
We set to work designing a structure that offered enough area for people to sit, relax, meet and chill out but that was also beautiful and would provide a dignified space that people would want to be in. The result was a timber clad structure that used materials in three different ways to create varying degrees of shade casting beautiful shadow into the space. Bespoke seating was designed with angled backrests to make it comfortable enough to stay for a while and a large upper ledge to create a second tier of seating if the space was used for events. Central hexagonal platforms offer lounging space where big groups can gather or small performances can be done. The large 3m central bays are big enough to hang projector screens for movie nights or even informal educational classes.
For this project we also launched a fundraiser to add a garden into the space. Planters were built into the seating and the funds gathered after phenomenal support paid for the soil, plants and installation of a tap for watering phase 1 of the garden space. This transformed the shade shelter and we received such positive feedback from the community who were so appriciative of having some green in an otherwise extremely gravely landscape. We will return to Koutsochero Camp in October to build phase 2 of the garden - external planters and a little more seating that can be enjoyed in the Autumn.