Living Capsule Offers Shelter From Disasters

Costa Rican architect César Oreamuno has designed a modular capsule that accommodates to the basic needs of a community after a state of emergency or disaster. The units are adaptable and easily assembled in order to account for a variety of situations and respond to a series of unique functions, although the main theme of the project is focused on improving the quality of attention towards the basic needs of crisis victims, as well as encouraging the development of the community.

Living Capsule Offers Shelter From Disasters  - More Images+ 17

Courtesy of César Oreamuno

The National Commission of Risk Prevention and Emergency Response of Costa Rica defines mass disasters as the disruption of ordinary societal functions. In addition to the number of deaths and injuries, consequences include the loss of material goods, the interruption of supply lines and economic instability. Every society that has been affected by a situation of crisis experiences a degradation of living conditions.

Corte Perspectiva Dormitorio
Corte Perspectiva Comedor

When restricted to their own means, individuals often experience difficulties in satisfying their most basic needs, calling for the attention of humanitarian organizations and institutions. In most cases this aid is found through shelters, usually community halls or schools, that may not have the necessary infrastructure required for personal hygiene and sanitation, nor adequate areas for storage or cooking. 

Courtesy of César Oreamuno

There would be no need for architecture if human beings were content to live in caves or in trees. Architecture is necessary to create conditions of habitability that are not dependent on the time of day or the time of year, or on the climatic conditions of the environment anywhere in the territory. – Guallart, 2009

Planta de Distribución Cubículos Empacados

This is why Oreamuno has designed these temporary refuge modules, conceptualized from the idea of a Swiss army knife; architecture capable of solving multiple problems simultaneously, allowing users to overcome a state of crisis within a relatively short amount of time. 

The shelter unit constitutes of 5 cubicles, 3 of which are mobile (internal furniture) and 2 rigid (structural support). The modules, the understanding the accessories’ functions, the methods of transportation, the assembly manual and the characteristics of technical support were of highest importance during the design process in order to create a functional proposition that fulfils a series of basic characteristics, such as: 


  1. Modular systems
  2. Situational adaptability
  3. Different options of usage
  4. Easy installation
  5. Light-weight
  6. Transportable
  7. No specialized manual labor
  8. No machinery
  9. High resistance
  10. Ability to be packed and stacked 

Courtesy of César Oreamuno

Architect: César Leonardo Oreamuno Canizal
University: Latin University of Costa Rica. Graduate project for a Bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism
Year: 2015
Location: This project doesn’t have a determined or specific location as its location is determined by climactic and anthropological factors  
Area: 13.7m2

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Cite: ArchDaily Team. "Living Capsule Offers Shelter From Disasters " 18 Dec 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtesy of César Oreamuno

胶囊避难所 应对灾后需求

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