Architecture - Masters


Genesis, is not just a cultural community center, it is the beginning of a new beginning. The design aims to provide support, safety and necessary services to past, current and future refugees and asylum seekers.

“Every minute in 2018, 25 people were forced to flee. What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution.”

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2020)

Project Background

It is a reality that we currently live in a world that is unfortunately plagued by war which is driven by greed, racism and political differences. As a result, many people and families living in continued conflict, wars and persecution are forced to leave their countries and undertaken a journey in hopes of finding a better life and future. Homelessness Australia (2012) found an increased risk of homelessness among refugee-backgrounds. The study found that former refugees face significant challenges in accessing services to prevent or suppose transitions out of homelessness. Many refugees believe that the available services are ‘culturally unfriendly’ and therefore, feel discouraged to access these services. There is also evidence discovered by Dawes and Gopalkrishnan (2013) that the majority of homelessness is experienced is secondary homeslessness. Because of the hidden nature of secondary homelessness, much of the homesslessness experienced by refugees and humanitarian entrants are ignored and pushed aside. The development of Genesis will encourage and offer refugees, aslyum seekers and anyone who is at risk of homelessness with necessary support and services.

Project Ideology

Often, many of these people have experience trauma and tragedy. Whether it be from the journey from their war stricken country, the journey across the ocean or the journey of integrating into Australia, these people will always remember their past. One of the main ideologies behind this design is to create an environment that represents hope, strength and peace. Therefore, a curved building has been designed in order to create a non-dominating, sharp structure. Its grandeur, non rectilinear design aims to soften the buildings impact on its surrounding location and allows for strong connection to the Roma Street Parklands. Additionally the use of curves will allow the structure to meld into the surrounding landscape; thus becoming apart of nature. In many cultures, the Earth and nature is seen as the symbol of life. It is the stabilizing and physical symbol of a network that aims to connect the elements of nature; air, fire and water. It is a representation of a community. By strengthening and integrating ‘green’ elements into the scheme (green walls, columns and roof), Genesis will become a symbol; physically and theoretically, of new beginnings. It is the place where refugees and asylum seekers will see and explore on their first day in Australia. It is a place where they have access to quality and effective health, education, emotional and economic services. It is a place where these people can come and connect with each other; forming new and everlasting bonds. Genesis, is not just a cultural community center, it is the start of new, better lives for many of its users.



One of the primary services that that scheme provides its users, is community based facilities and events. By creating community and social connections with existing refugee communities, it will encourage and allow many refugees and asylum seekers to feel welcomed and accepted within Australia. It will allow these people to bond and learn from past experiences and not feel alone. Weekly community support groups and events will be accessible to refugees and asylum seekers. These groups will allow people of similar backgrounds and experiences to come together so they don’t feel alone. Additionally, these groups will create community events that encourage non-refugee and asylum seekers visitors to come along, learn and interact with refugees and asylum seekers. The aim of this is to strength the presence of these communities, creating a social norm within Brisbane.


Weekly community markets will allow many refugees and asylum seekers to grow businesses and connect to the urban and rural economic markets. The markets will encourage community development and awareness, enhance real estate values and keep money in the local neighbourhood. Additionally, it will increase access to fresh, healthy food which will positively impact local businesses. These events will serve as a public gathering place for people from different ethic cultural and socioeconomic communities. Therefore, it will bring awareness to the mission of the building scheme which will see an increase in volunteering and donations.


Fatima Diaz

Fatima Diaz is interested in designing spaces that revolve around the people who will use and occupy them. She enjoys the process of creating architecture in working with clients to bring their ideas and dreams to life and has a keen interest in designing for diverse needs including for people with disability, aged care and places for social well-being. She hopes to continue to grow her knowledge and skills while maintaining her focus on architecture for people.