Kabul Airport Transformation

Transforming Kabul Military Airport into a Refugee Camp

In August 2021, after two decades of war in Afghanistan, the last evacuation flight of NATO soldiers and Afghan refugees left Kabul International Airport. Since then, buildings and hangars set up by the US military on the north side of the airport have been left empty and unused.

Following the rise of the fundamentalist Taliban group, thousands of internally displaced Afghans are seeking refuge in urban centres. Therefore, the proposal renders a gradual transformation of the military part of Kabul airport to a refugee camp. The base of the design is a comprehensive catalogue of existing military buildings on the site. A three-phase masterplan envisages the gradual transformation of the former military airport. During a first Emergency Phase, shelters and basic humanitarian needs will be provided to internally displaced people, as a first response to the refugee crisis. During a Transition Phase, temporary shelters and buildings will gradually adapt to permanent and affordable housing solutions focusing on self-sufficient agriculture and basic infrastructure. A final Integration Phase envisages a sustainable integration of the settlement into the Kabul cityscape by applying traditional housing typologies and extending the new urban district to the surrounding city. 

SDG for Refugee Camps, Urban Planning, Transformation

Technical University of Berlin
Supervisor: Prof. Jacob van Rijs (MVRDV)
Chair: Design and Construction