Parasitic shelter is available to anyone who needs it

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The Bow-House, by French architect Stéphane Malka (Photo: Laurent Clement)

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Can "guerrilla architecture" be used to promote radical collective ideas? Such is the intriguing premise behind Bow-House. Created by French architect Stéphane Malka, who has a keen interest in using his skills to help reclaim neglected inner-city areas for those less fortunate, the project comprises a shelter built from recycled materials that is available to anyone who needs a place to stay.

Constructed earlier this year, the two-story structure rests against the exterior wall of an inner-city house in Heerlen, Netherlands, and is supported by scaffolding. The primary building material is a collection of salvaged windows and doors of various shapes and sizes, which have been assembled together and still open inwards, outwards and slide or pivot, depending on their type. Interestingly, there are no doors blocking the entrance.

As you might expect, the interior is rather basic and includes an aluminum ladder which offers access between floors. There's also a mattress, dining area, and even a small patio area, but it's not clear if there's any other amenities available – still, it has to be better than spending the night out on the street.

"This methodology seeks to promote public participation as an act of resistance against urban restrictions," says Malka. "It is a colonization of neglected public spaces by the participation of a non-specialized labor collective that elaborates on prefabricated and hijacked construction systems."

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