A Warm Welcome

Jackdaws in Woensel West, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. With nearly 50% immigrants Woensel is the neighborhood of Eindhoven with the most non-Dutch inhabitants.
Syrian refugees walking across Europe, after crossing the Medditeranean sea.

They both risk their lives on the move,
looking for a place to settle.


A warm welcome is a birdhouse. A birdhouse that is also a statement.

It connects the fate of crows and refugees, both unwanted and without a roof over their head. We close our chimneys, much like we close Europe's borders. We have warmth to share, there are places for them to stay, but we turn our backs to the problem in the hope it goes away.​

This birdhouse is a public declaration of helping the unwanted. Of the willingness to share warmth, and to boost and engage in public debate. To create openness, and take away fear. To create a platform for discussion, to question the actions of politicians, and in the best case scenario create couch surfing for refugees.

A Warm Welcome_FelixMollinga_2

Jackdaws nesting in chimneys is a small scale issue. Relatable, because they might one day nest in your own chimney. Relatable, because I had a jackdaw's nest in my chimney.

The refugee crisis, on the other hand, is huge, complicated and not relatable. So why not use the first to bring attention to the second? To solve the bird-in-chimney issue, you need a birdhouse. An alternative to the chimney, a fake chimney. But chimneys can have a public function. They are on top of a roof and visible from far down the street. This makes them a good platform to communicate a statement with.

This birdhouse is a public declaration of support. Of helping the unwanted. Of the willingness to share warmth, and to boost and engage in publicdebate. To create openness, and take away fear. Because being afraid shuts the door to possibilities.

For this, it uses the most desperate part of the crisis. People risking their own life to travel to Europe, on a boat as fragile as a paper folded boat. Refugees enter Europe through the boat, just like the jackdaws enter the birdhouse through the boat. At night chimneys can act as a beacon. Like a lighthouse guiding a boat, this birdhouse draws attention. It sheds light on a problem, by glowing in the dark.

As it is a statement, it is public. To be successful it needs to spread, it needs to go viral. For it to successfully spread it needs to be cheap and mass produced. Like normal roof tiles, it is made of terra-cotta. The texture serves multiple purposes.It is necessary to hold the luminescent paint. And, during the slip-clay casting process, it creates a texture on the inside, which is necessary for the bird to get out.

This is a birdhouse that is not just a birdhouse, but it addresses the bigger issue.To maintain your house, to save a nest, and to give a home.