Cliff face shelter designed to provide safe passage for refugees

Slice Refugee Hospitality Centre proposes an architectural solution to welcoming and hosting migrants that cross seas to seek asylum.

Over 50 per cent of Syrians fleeing civil war at home have a long and perilous journey to find safety in host countries. They have to cross rough oceans on small vessels, suffer harsh weather conditions, and live in makeshift camps that feel more like prisons. Greek architect Spiros Koulias’ Slice Refugee Hospitality Centre proposes an architectural solution that provides a safe point of passage for the thousands of refugees arriving in countries via sea routes.

Slice is designed to be built at inaccessible points of crossing such as steep cliff faces or hard-to-reach landscapes along treacherous coastlines. Koulias’ prototype model features a building carved into the face of a coastal cliff that would serve as a shelter and entry point for refugees or migrants. The architect envisions the structure as a place for welcoming, hosting and recording migrants that enter a country.

The tower is 22-storeys high with a base that acts as a dock for boats and a roof at the top of the cliff that provides outdoor communal space. While the facade of the building faces seawards, 80 per cent of it is built into the rock, providing ample space for the sequence of interior living units on each floor that can accommodate approximately 500 to 600 people comfortably. Koulias has planned the architecture to be adaptable to different environments and says that “the building is constructed so that it can be flexibly applied in different geophysical fields.”