Ruth Maria Weber

Ruth Maria Weber

UN Habitat Mosul. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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Ruth Maria Weber

The city of Mosul, located on the banks of the Tigris River, is the second largest city in Iraq and one of the oldest cities in the world. Due to its strategic location within the country, for millennia it has been a crossing point for people of different backgrounds, different nationalities and different faiths. But in June 2014, the Daesh conquered the city and claimed it their capital. Its liberation in July 2017, preceded by several months of armed conflict, has left destroyed monuments, demolished houses, damaged infrastructure and thousands of its inhabitants displaced and in a state of humanitarian emergency. In July 2019, tens of thousands of families are still waiting in camps on the city outskirts to return to their homes which do not longer exist. In order to support Mosul’s local government with the reconstruction and recovery of the city a multi-disciplinary team from UN-Habitat and UNESCO has developed an Initial Planning Framework.

On the basis of the mentioned Framework, this master ‘s thesis aims to provide a proposal for Mosul’s housing problem and to inspire a vision of home life and normality. The idea was to develop a prototype house with modular rooms, that can be adapted to a variety of plot shapes and family sizes whilst depicting a lively neighbourhood and allowing home owner identification. Due to limited resources, the prototype is a low-cost design, utilising local materials and recycled rubble, with a natural ventilation and water collecting system. The supporting structure of concrete semi arches and wooden beam ceilings is joined together by simple steel connections. The facade, the flooring and the infill of the concrete arches are made of clay, which the owners can process themselves and thus participate in the building process of their own home.

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