Hong Kong based architect Ted Givens of 10 Design has recently unveiled designs for tornado proof and hurricane proof housing. With the recent earthquake and hurricane events that have hit the eastern seaboard of the United States, it seems a fitting proposal for urban clustering on a residential scale.
Typically, housing located in areas subject to hurricanes are elevated above the ground. However, Givens notes that this fails to take into account the velocity of surge waters and the grinding power of debris. His solution takes an opposite approach by burrowing the house into the ground with a set of hydraulic levers activated by high velocity winds. Once submerged into the earth, the roof locks to ensure a wind and water tight seal. Construction of the house utilizes a Kevlar sandwich skin system with clear insulation, which allows for diffuse light to enter through the semi-translucent building envelope.
Givens envisions whole neighborhoods connected through sensors that would be able to safely disappear underground in a matter of seconds in the event of a hurricane. His philosophy for this design is to respond to nature rather than seeking to dominate it.
More than just a paper project, 10 Design is currently developing a prototype with a consortium of ship builders in the United States and Africa.