Carel Weeber

Malkit Shoshan

The architecture faculty at the Bezalel academy, Jerusalem



Design Your Own Camp. exercise.pdf


As we were invited to give a workshop to the students of Bezalel’s architecture faculty in Jerusalem -a city in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in its extreme- we have decided to focus on the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Along the city’s municipal-line and on the other (the Palestinian) side of the Wall, one can find the oldest refugee camps in the world.

While reflecting on this reality, we have asked the students to rethink the UN planning regulation of a refugee camp, as they are given to doctors.

We have asked a pragmatic question: to shape a camp that would be sustainable for at least one century.


Typical services and infrastructure requirements for refugee camps

1 latrine 1 family (6–10 persons)

1 water tap 1 community (80–100 persons)

1 health centre 1 camp (of 20,000 persons)

1 hospital up to 200,000 persons

1 school 1 sector (5,000 persons)

4 commodity distribution sites 1 camp module (20,000 persons)

1 market 1 camp module (20,000 persons)

2 refuse drums 1 community (80–100 persons)

Site planning figures for emergencies

Land 30 – 45 m2 per person

Shelter space 3.5 m2 per person (tents or other structures)

Fire break space a clear area between shelters 50 m wide should be provided for every 300 m of built-up area

Minimum of 1-1.5 m should be provided between guy-ropes of neighbouring tents on all sides

Roads and walkways 20-25% of entire site

Open space and public facilities 15-20% of entire site

Environmental sanitation 1 latrine seat per 20 people or ideally 1 per       family sited not farther than 50 m from user accommodations and not nearer than 6 m.

1 x 100 litre refuse bin per 50 people

1 wheelbarrow per 500 people

1 communal refuse pit (2 m x 5 m x 2 m) per 500 people

Water 15-20 litres per person per day of clean water

Health centre: 40-60 litres/patient/day

Feeding centres: 20-30 litres/patient/day

Tap stands 1 per 200 persons, sited not farther than 100 m from user       accommodations

Warehouse space for food grains in bags, stacked 6 m high, allow 1.2 m2 of floor space per ton

Data: A Handy Guide to UNHCR Emergency, Standards and Indicators, eCentre

One cannot discuss the territorial conflict without mentioning the mass-displacement and the Palestinian refugees. This project also reflects and challenges the UN regulations for the design of refugee camps