Architecture provides shelter. Nowhere is the need for shelter more critical than in the flood devastated region of Vargas state, Venezuela. Hundreds of thousands are now without a place to live. Their homes in ruins, the infrastructure of the region collapsed, the returning population needs immediate housing. 

The scope of this project is to design affordable housing for the returning and relocating people of Vargas. The project's goal is to foster the development of housing methods by creating prototype houses that can be built quickly and inexpensive yet permanent. 

The issues faced in this project are not unique to Vargas. Natural disasters and war all over the world destroy homes and force people to seek shelter while they rebuild. Concepts, techniques and materials proposed in this project may very well help others somewhere else. The people of Vargas, like most people, have a strong commitment to their homes. 

The ability to rebuild permanent houses and towns will be determined by the availability of materials and the existence of skills. Temporary housing may be needed for several years if conditions make rebuilding slow and difficult. How temporary housing differs from permanent housing is a critical concept to this project.

These houses should be built by those who will live in them. The local building trades have the skills to build if the technology demands are low. Construction of the homes is also an effective employment program to reconstruct Vargas society.


A group of military officers entered the Poliedro stadium on December 21 and announced to the ragged crowd of flood victims that they would relocate willing families to the interior of the country to a town in Bolivar state called Guri where they would be given the opportunity to build a new life. 

 The CVG, the Armed Forces and the Instituto Nacional de Cooperacion Educativa (INCE) are now collaborating to design and implement a comprehensive strategy to develop Guri as an example for the future of the Venezuelan interior. The idea was conceived long before the disaster, however, as part of Chavez' Plan Zamora, a long-term project to de-populate northern urban centers and develop agriculture, industry and extractive industries in the resource rich Orinoco Apure axis.  Chavez' plan was facilitated by the urgent need to remove victims from the crippled state of Vargas.


Living/Dining    300sf

Three Bedrooms     at 150sf to 200sf each

Two Bathrooms     at 50sf each

Kitchen    150sf

Utility/Laundry    100sf

Storage/Closet/Etc.    200sf

15 - 20 units per acre

This project was first assigned to IDC students in 2002, to see program requirements, click HERE.