The Greek Institute of Architects in New Yorκ (GIANY) organized a competition of ideas, open to architects and designers, regarding the series of events “A Shelter for Architecture,” with the theme “Cocoon.” The competition attempted to delve into the meaning of refuge and the perceptions of limits between the human body and environment.
The results of the competition were exhibited at the Greek Embassy in New York. Fifteen finalists were selected and five equal first prizes were given. Among the five top winning entries were two students from the Department of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), George Vlasis Pakalidis and Spyros Nikolopoulos.
Their project “Homespot,” placed their proposal at the shores where the biggest refugee flows are taking place. Going back in history and analyzing the archetype meaning of the container, the two students decided to incorporate in their design the sentiment of the “cave” – as the first form of architecture of humans – and the meanings of water, fire, wind and earth. Their aim was to create warmth and comfort for the refugees so that they can enter a better world through refuge.