An alternative model of receiving refugee flows in the EU

  • AUTh Diploma Design Thesis I 2015
  • 1st Honorable Mention in the international architecture competition Sheltering Humanity in May 2016
  • Host: MOHA Research center, Hellenic Ministry of Education
  • Mentor: Dr. Konstantinos Sakantamis
  • Collaborating agencies: UNHCR, Red Cross (GR), Hellenic Rescue Team, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Status: Published in Atlantis design magazine in November 2017

The project started from analysing trends and data on refugee flows in Greece and the EU and examined the spatial problem that has arisen from 2014 onwards, regarding the inadequate infrastructure and the lack of accommodation facilities, registration, identification centres and medical care facilities both on islands and in continental Greece. The insufficiency of land facilities and the belief that any humanitarian intervention through architecture cannot be captured by policy decisions led to the idea of an alternative model of receiving refugee flows in the Mediterranean  Sea by creating floating reception centres. The idea originated from the ongoing use of Greek passenger ships for the transportation of refugees from the Eastern Aegean islands to Athens. It envisions a new reception strategy and a legitimate transfer of refugees to cities in the EU, where identification,registration, accommodation and medical assistance will be provided on-board. The ship chosen as case study is Blue Star 1, a Greek passenger ship which was used several times for transporting refugees. Its transformation into floating reception centre requires an efficient and user-friendly layout of every deck, effective lighting and ventilation as well as the creation of various circulation areas. Maximum length of stay on board has been estimated at 10 days.

Scenario modelling: Project data, numbers and ship case-study
Transformation steps and floating reception centre exploded
Diagram of uses and vertical sections


Deck plans [pt. 1]
Deck plans [pt. 2]
Perspective section




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