EAA Foundation Tents | Zaha Hadid Architects

Syria / 2022

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Designed for use as schools, clinics and emergency shelters in refugee and displaced communities, the tents are a joint venture between Zaha Hadid Architects and the Education Above All Foundation (EAA). EAA was established in 2012 with the aim to contribute to human, social and economic development through quality education and other initiatives. With a particular focus on areas affected by poverty, conflict and disaster, EAA champions the needs of children and targets hard-to-reach marginalised children; in particular children in poverty; those who face social or cultural barriers to education; and those in crisis and conflict-affected environments. By working with local partners and emphasising innovation, scale and sustainability, EAA aims to enable every child to fulfil her/his right to education.


With more than 70 million people displaced in their own countries or living as refugees, and half under the age of 18, EAA saw a critical need for a suitable infrastructure that could serve as classrooms, temporary housing, and medical centres for displaced children and their families. EAA Foundation teamed up with Zaha Hadid Architects to create a structure that offers safe, versatile and sustainable spaces for children to use for play, learning, and development. Allowing for natural daylight, the weather- proof, multi-use modular tent structures can be easily moved and re-assembled, incorporating components that can also be upcycled or recycled, making them ideal for displaced populations.
The tents are constructed using an identical extruded aluminium arch structure as its primary member that allows for longer spans, interior flexibility and ensures the fabrication process is faster, cheaper and manageable.


A standard ground fixing component enables the structure to be easily installed, while the durable fabric membrane stretched between the arches enhances the stability of the entire structure. The geometry of the arched structure creates openings for natural light and ventilation. The structure’s dimensions have been determined by one roof module being 11m x 4.5m which allows for a very flexible floorplan and enables the units to be extended through multiple bays. One room of two enclosed bays could be extended to include external play areas; or doubled to create a large community hall. The flexibility of this structural system enables programmatic changes to be easily implemented even after installation. Grooves within the extruded aluminium sections allow the fabric membrane to be connected directly to the framework rather than needing additional bolts, while T-slots to allow walls/vertical panels/lighting to be hung directly from the framework without additional bracketry. This approach also allows for the replacement of individual wall panels by introducing a doorway or a translucent panel in place of an insulated wall to maximise flexibility of the space.


A low-emissivity PVC fabric with multi-foil insulation is used for both the outer and inner membranes to ensure heat is retained in the winter and reflected in the summer. The cavity between the skins minimises solar gain. For its strength, PVC the most lightweight and cost-effective material that enables simple on-site repairs if damaged. It is resistant to damage from rodents or insects and can be upcycled into second- life applications EAA Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser said, “To place a tent in a displaced community can seem like a small achievement, but the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are interconnected and by improving access to education, health and basic shelter, we plant the seeds for greater opportunities to grow in the future.”


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Architect
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design
Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Director
Charles Walker
ZHA Project Architect
Gerry Cruz
ZHA Project Associates
Shajay Bhooshan, Tariq Khayyat


ZHA Project Team
David Reeves, Ilya Pereyaslavtsev, Ramon Weber, Vladislav Bek Bulatov, Henry David Louth, Vishu Bhooshan, Li Chen, Ruxandra Matei


Consultants Contractor
Duol TR / Tensaform


Local Architect
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy


Structural Engineer (Concept)
Buro Happold


Fabricator (Concept)
Architen Landrell


Local Consultant (Concept)
Dar Al-Handasah

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    Designed for use as schools, clinics and emergency shelters in refugee and displaced communities, the tents are a joint venture between Zaha Hadid Architects and the Education Above All Foundation (EAA). EAA was established in 2012 with the aim to contribute to human, social and economic development through quality education and other initiatives. With a particular focus on areas affected by poverty, conflict and disaster, EAA champions the needs of children and targets hard-to-reach...

    Project details
    • Year 2022
    • Work finished in 2022
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Schools/Institutes / Hospitals, private clinics / Modular/Prefabricated housing
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