These Czech Emergency Igloo Shelters Are Helping Homeless People

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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The business started in the living room as an inconspicuous project to help homeless people. When Pavla Klečková and Manu Chilaud built their first emergency shelter a year ago, which they called Iglou, they probably had no idea what to expect. The easily portable and foldable shelter has taken over very quickly throughout the Czech Republic, and this year it should also reach beyond past its borders.

The current form of the Iglou is the sixth improved version. The concept itself, however, attracted great attention from the onset, whether by local authorities or field workers from domestic organizations that help homeless people. 

This alternative roof for homeless people was originally to appear only in the three cities of the Moravian-Silesian region where the designers live. However, the plan to make 10 such shelters became a larger matter. Klečková and Chilaud, together with the inventor of the first prototype, Frenchman Geoffroy de Reynal, will launch production in bulk. Iglou will also travel abroad for the first time.

“Last week we came back from France to discuss the details. The plan is to create between 300 and 600 pieces for the next winter, for example for Slovakia, England or Belgium,” Chilaud reveals. In addition, the first shelters made of polyethylene foam and aluminum foil, are already being produced in Peru or Iran. The process and instructions for use are shared by the authors as open source.

The advantage of Iglou is that it is a temporary solution that is suitable for any terrain.

The thermal insulation keeps the heat in Iglou and can be up to 18 degrees warmer than outdoors. In the Czech Republic, tens of thousands of people live without a roof overhead and many of them do not go to emergency shelters due to fear to come among other people even under the most severe weather.

Author: Lilato Madiri

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