Architecture Foundation Australia

International Alumni Projects

Projects by the great community of participants on 'oz.e.tecture' events

Gent Belgium : Wim Goes

Wim Goes , Gent, Belgium

Glenn Murcutt Master Class 2006 : New Zealand Master Class 2008

[temporary structure : palative care : refuge : community build : straw bales : timber]

Temporary Refuge in Flanders

Wim Goes Architectuur

Wim Goes, Anja Houbaert, Tim De Messemaeker, Johannes Berry

Winner of the 2017 AR (UK) 'Pop-up Architecture Award.


We were asked by our client, diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), to adapt his house with an eye on the future. After meeting with the ergotherapist, we knew we had no time to spare considering the aggressive nature of the condition.

Refuge is a temporary project. The existing concrete carport was chosen for the project as a result of the limitation in adaptability of the existing house. A barrier-free floor plan was a major concern, but what was more important was mental accessibility. There is no hope to heal.

There is a need for a universal hope, helping each other, involvement, engagement, friendship beyond limits. How can we make architecture with this? Why not building with friends and family? With materials everybody knows from their childhood. Straw and sand referring to the playground, the smell, the memory…


More than a 100 friends and family contributed in constructing Refuge. With more complicated jobs done by professionals, like the sustainable heating and ventilation (with heat recuperation) system or the domotics to manage the doors, curtains, lighting,…

controllable by the client. While building, coffee, tea, food, beer and wine, were served to celebrate life.


Everyone being involved recognized him/herself in Refuge. They were part of it, It created a mental accessibility. The focus changed from sickness and death to hope and future.


Everything will be taken away.

83% of the project (straw and loam) will be spread out over the landscape as fertilisation. Technical equipment (sponsored) will be returned.

Glass, metal, wood,… will be recycled. Parallel to this attitude, and above all there is a human investment. The ritual. The cycle of life.

Photography : Filip Dujardin

Wim Goes Architectuur -



architects thinking locally acting globally


Lindsay Johnston