Study on new housing types and standards in the Roma settlements in East Europe.
In 1990ies, during long-lasting political instabilities, nearly 5000 Roma from all over the ex-Yugoslavia have moved to Novi Sad in Serbia, to the one of the biggest unauthorized settlements in town called Mali Beograd (Petite Belgrade). Many of them still live in their houses made mostly out of waste and due to the poor maintenance they are in urgent need of reconstruction. However the acute housing problems in unauthorized settlements are completely left behind by establishment in Eastern Europe and that gave me motivation to develop a project on this subject. The location Mali Beograd served me as a study base. It has provided me with all sufficient information about population trends, economy, history, culture.
This group’s main earnings are from collecting and selling used cardboard, iron and glass. Therefore I decided to use that commercial circle and suggest the system that would involve plastics too. Authorized company would recycle it, transforming it into small house units.
As a result, The Lotus Project becomes a sustainable plan, promoting recycling building technique, using PET and HDPE plastics (along with its sources) as main building matter. PET is excellent barrier material, here used as a heat insulation layer on the outside of the object. HDPE is strong material used for construction elements.
The toilet is the heart and the motor of the house; it is proposed as central part of the object. Biodegradable wastes are collected in a reservoir underneath the floor where the biogas is produced. It supplies the household with adequate energy for cooking and heating. Unexploited gas is stored in a balloon structure placed on the roof. The Balloon also demonstrates the size of the family, nutrition value of the food they eat, their wealth…
Because of its multi-layered conception, The Lotus Project represents alternative for settlers in case of a new exodus as well as option for better living quality in settlement self.
Another additional information is about the name I gave to this project. The lotus flower is exquisite plant; it has its roots in the mud but blooms above the water without becoming wet or dirty. It is a natural symbol for the person seeking release, who should live in the world free of restrictions.