Creating designs for an LGBT youth asylum in Uganda requires a great deal of creativity, and an unwavering ability to see the world as we would like it to be, rather than how it is. The Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum architecture competition was looking for concepts that offered potential for the open LGBT community to grow and further integrate with society, as opposed to isolating an already vulnerable community even further. The jury was looking for plans for a community centre, not a prison.
The second place winners for the Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum architecture competition were selected for the conceptual symbolism of their project. It consists of a tensioned structure that is composed of a series of columns, which are linked by cables and support a wired mesh. The primary structure therefore has an incredibly flexible textile creating a protective membrane from the hostile environment.
The use of a tent as the core construct of the building allowed for a great deal of versatility, and its undefined shape allowed for the metaphorical representation of the LGBT community. Fragile to such an extent that it actually becomes indestructible, for if it collapses it can easily be rebuilt again. The second place winners also managed to combine a very symbolic concept with very real world applications; its low cost and uncomplicated materials and designs means that it can be replicated anywhere and at very little cost.