Architects Arna Mackic and Lorien Beijaert (Studio LA) investigated the residential quality of temporary refugee housing complex ‘ Bijlmerbajes’, a former prison that since its closure in June 2016 is being used to house 600 refugees, among them 100 children.

In the nineties, the prison -that was initially designed to accommodate a liberal, relatively open prison regime- was strengthened with walls, fences, and bars blocking the windows. These bars also block the newcomers’ view to the city: every time the residents look outside, they are reminded that they actually live in a prison.

Starting by asking the simple question of why these bars can’t just be removed, Mackic, Beijaert and visual artist Robert Glas investigated the tension between temporary use and the neglection of the effect of architecture, resulting in a short movie.

At this workshop. Beijaert and Glas will play their movie and start a conversation with the workshop attendees, to draw lessons for future situations of temporary housing newcomers.


  Lorien Beijaert (Studio L A)
For L A, the practice of architecture is a device through which to question societal issues and phenomena, and to place them in renewed perspectives. Our projects often relate to the subject of ‘collective identity’. Self-initiated projects and spatial interventions arise from thorough research in which we cooperate with specialists from various professional fields. Our spatial designs do not aspire to be off-the-shelf structures, but are allowed to cause friction. We apply architecture as an experimental space, in which we investigate societal challenges through spatial models and their users.


Date and time: June 13th 2017, 14.00 a.m. – 15.30 p.m.
Location: Spaarndammerbuurt
Fees & entry: Part of ISHF’s opening event (registration below)
Contact: Roos van Strien r.v.strien@socialhousingfestival.com
Research project ‘Amsterdam Arrivals’ is supported by the Creative Industries Fund

Registration (for full opening event)



Original text