Building Magazine


Ryerson students shelter homeless in Pakistan (September 21, 2007)

TORONTO – Ryerson University and the Karachi (Pakistan) office of ARCOP Associate Architects of Montreal have partnered in the Home In Muzaffarabad project, a joint effort that will see 28 homes built for rural families who were rendered homeless by the South Asia earthquake of 2005.

The city of Muzaffarabad, in the Pakistani-controlled region of Kashmir, was an area strongly affected by the 2005 earthquake that killed more than 75,000 people. Two years later, many survivors are still living in temporary shelters.

Students and alumni of Ryerson’s Department of Architectural Science and its School of Image Arts will construct the 300-sq.-ft. homes in Muzaffarabad using a combination of traditional and contemporary building materials. Construction will take a month and will be complete by the end of August, 2007.

The project is being assisted by a panel of international associates and advisors including Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Kieran Timberlake Architects of Philadelphia, Cashmere for Kashmir, the Canadian International Development Agency, the British Deputy Foreign Minister and project advisors from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation International.

“For students this is an incredible opportunity,” Ian MacBurnie, associate professor in the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson and faculty advisor for the Home In Muzaffarabad project, said in a statement. “They will learn about a foreign culture, humanitarian relief, sustainability and about minimal housing design. But more than that, through establishing a new model of affordable housing that is tailored to the Muzaffarabad climate and geography, and by telling these people’s story, they will have a positive and lasting impact on the Kashmir region.”

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