The Concrete Tent deals with the paradox of a permanent temporariness. It solidifies a mobile tent into a concrete house. The result is a hybrid between a tent and a concrete house, temporariness and permanency, soft and hard, movement and stillness.
The project tries to inhabit the paradox of how to preserve the very idea of the tent as symbolic and historical value. Because of the degradability of the material of the tents, these structures simply do not exist any more. And so, the re-creation of a tent made of concrete today is an attempt to preserve the cultural and symbolic importance of this archetype for the narration of the Nakba, but at the same time to engage the present political condition of exile.
Photo by Sara Anna
The Concrete Tent is a gathering space for communal learning. It hosts cultural activities, a working area and an open space for social meetings. The urgency and idea of such a space emerged in discussion with the participants of Campus in Camps who saw a possibility to materialize and give architectural form to narrations and representations of camps and refugees beyond the idea of poverty, marginalization and victimization.
The Concrete Tent has become a site of exchange, debates and self-reflection and has quickly taken the role as a gathering place. Youth are using it as meeting point, newlyweds have found the tent to be a good place to celebrate and are taking their wedding pictures in front of the curious architecture, negotiators from the camp are using it for peace resolution meeting among families, social and cultural events are happening.