A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Emergency Architects

Architects rebuilding disaster zones throughout the world.

Emergency Architects


September 22nd, 2009

The Emergency Architects (Architectes de l’Urgence) began in France in 2001, when a group of French architects banded together to help neighbours who had been affected by severe flooding in the region.

In 2005, the Boxing Day tsunami prompted the creation of the Australian arm of Emergency Architects (EAA). The group of volunteers works to establish temporary and long-term accommodation and infrastructure for people displaced by natural disasters.

To date, Emergency Architects Australia (EAA) has worked in Pakistan, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and Aceh. Working with local aid agencies, government and disaster management services, the EAA has volunteers – from architecture and other building and infrastructure professions – providing expertise in sustainable (economically and culturally) long-term solutions.

A ‘Rapid Assessment Team’ is first sent in to assess the extent of the damage in the disaster area and to estimate the cost of repairs. After this assessment is complete, the EAA can work on immediately providing shelter. The teams salvage whatever materials they can, and use new local materials, to provide shelter, water and other infrastructure for residents.

Often working in areas where entire townships have been destroyed, without a building left standing, EAA work to develop master plans for redevelopment. They also hold workshops (supported by aid agencies) to train local people to rebuild using earthquake-resistant techniques.

The EAA’s latest project in the Solomon Islands – described as the ‘forgotten disaster zone’ after the 2007 earthquake and tsunami – has involved the re-establishment of, not just homes, but schools in the area where over 100 were destroyed.

In a recent trip to the region, fifteen architecture students from the University of Queensland, and two from the University of Lae, Papua New Guinea, volunteered in a two-week program to build 14 pit latrines in the village of Keigold.

With organisations in France, Canada and Australia, Emergency Architects provide support for some of the poorest countries throughout the world hit by the devastation of natural disasters.


Emergency Architects Australia will be holding a fundraiser in Sydney on 30 September 2009. Get along and show your support.

ARCHITECTURE TRIVIA ’FUNRAISER’ with The Chasers Craig Reucassel: 7.30pm – late, 30 September 2009

Function Centre, Club Swans, 28 Darlinghurst Rd Kings Cross.

All Welcome – please call 02 8004 7982 or email info@emergencyarchitects.org to reserve your ticket or table. ’¨’¨Come and test your wit and brains against questions posed by Lawrence Nield with great wine and food and Master of Ceremonies Craig Reucassel (freshly released from “The Chasers War on Everything”). ’¨’¨

Cheer yourself out of the economic downturn, sharpen your mind and celebrate the great and small things of architecture, planning and art. Most importantly you’ll be helping to bring architectural assistance to those in need. Sponsored by Club Swans.’¨



INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed