Ikea's right-on refugee shelter flat-pack


Emily Dugan
Monday 17 June 2013 12:52 BST
Ikea is launching a refugee shelter
Ikea is launching a refugee shelter

Move over Billy bookcases and Kassett CD storage, Ikea is launching, as part of World Refugee Day on 20 June, an unlikely addition to its flat-pack range: a refugee shelter. A mallet will be provided with the instructions.

Although touted as an alternative to the tents widely used at emergency camps around the world, the flat-pack house comes in four boxes weighing more than 100kg, and currently costs more than £5,000 to make.

The prototype has been worked on for the past two years by The Ikea Foundation – Ikea's charitable arm – alongside the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Once in mass production, its designers believe the unit cost will come down to £640.

However, a typical UNHCR refugee tent costs between £64 and £380. Johan Karlsson, lead designer, insisted: "This will last longer. The lifespan will be three times that of a tent."

No word yet on how it compares to a Billy.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in