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Disaster Relief: The Latest Architecture and News

10 Inspiring Examples of Post-Disaster Architecture

Following natural disaster or conflict, architecture plays a critical role in not only reconstructing lost infrastructure but also responding to the need for comfort and safety for those affected. Successful post-disaster architecture must meet both the short-term need for immediate shelter, as well as long-term needs for reconstruction and stability. Eight years after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, those displaced continue to reside in temporary shelters without adequate access to plumbing and electricity, revealing the critical importance of addressing long-term needs after disaster and conflict.

Below, we've rounded up 10 impressive examples of post-disaster architecture that range from low-cost, short-term proposals to those that attempt to rebuild entire communities from the ground up:

Pop-Up Places of Worship. Image Courtesy of Lucas Boyd and Chad Greenlee Villa Verde Housing. Image © Suyin Chia Soma City Home-For-All. Image © Koichi Torimura Cardboard Cathedral. Image © Bridgit Anderson + 10

Prefab Pop-Up Shelter Designed for Burning Man and Perfected for Disaster Relief

via Advanced Shelter Systems
via Advanced Shelter Systems

Christian Weber, a 20-plus year veteran of the Burning Man festival has learned a few tricks on the Playa. Shelter from the harsh Black Rock Desert winds, heat, dust and cold nights are attributes of an experienced camp. “Every year we unload our camp out of the container and use our container as our kitchen. It literally has fold-down tables [and] air conditioning… and when we’re all done, we throw it back in the container and it’s ready to go for next year.”

Many Feared Dead or Trapped After Earthquake Topples Buildings Throughout Mexico

Following the devastating earthquake measuring 7.1 in magnitude that struck Mexico yesterday at 13:14 local time, many—over 200 people at the time of writing—are feared either dead or trapped in collapsed buildings or unsafe structures. While rescue efforts continue and information surrounding the scope of devastation is preliminary, schools are closed indefinitely and major companies and organizations have requested their employees not to work.

The death toll continues to rise while ArchDaily México, which is located in Mexico City, reports wide-reaching destruction of the built fabric of the capital. Footage captured by terrified residents show the final moments of buildings—many taller than four stories—that were reduced to dust and debris in seconds.

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.

Courtesy of César Oreamuno Courtesy of César Oreamuno Planta de Distribución Dormitorio Corte Perspectiva Dormitorio + 22

Shigeru Ban to Help With Disaster Relief Following Ecuador Earthquake

Japanese architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban will visit Ecuador on April 30 to help with disaster relief following the recent earthquake, according to a press release from the College of Ecuadorian Architects – Pichincha Province (CAE Pichincha). Known for bringing innovative and high quality design to the people that need it the most, Ban has developed successful responses to disasters in Asia, Africa, Europe and Central America.

Designnobis’ “Tentative” Provides Compact, Individual Living Spaces for Disaster Victims

Addressing the displacement of people by natural disasters, Designnobis has created Tentative – a compact, all-in-one, deployable emergency shelter. Designed by Designnobis founder, Hakan Gürsu, Tentative was honored with a Silver Award in the Social Design category of the A' Design Award 2014-2015 and has been nominated for the 2015 Design Index and World Design Impact Prize 2015 by ICSID. Read more about this emergency shelter after the break.

Build a Life-Size LEGO Structure with these Modular Plastic Blocks

via Wired
via Wired

LEGO enthusiast Arnon Rosan has created a full-scale, interlocking "LEGO" block that allows users to quickly assemble life-size structures. The LEGO-like "EverBlock" is a modular system of polypropylene blocks with raised lugs that can be stacked to form furniture, installations or even emergency shelters. As Wired reports, the blocks come in 14 colors, three sizes - full (one-foot-long), half (six-inches), and quarter (three-inches) - and vary in weight from a quarter to two pounds.

"Each module is designed to connect easily with the parts above and below, using a pressure fit which creates a strong link between blocks. Because of its unique lug system, you can stagger EverBlocks in 3" increments, to create all types of patterns," says EverBlock.

Timelapse: How to Build an Emergency Shelter with Scaffolding and Local Materials

Designed and developed by Pilosio Building Peace, RE:BUILD is a construction system for building refugee camps and facilities for emergency assistance. The temporary modular structures can be used as houses, schools, clinics, dining areas or any other space that is urgently needed.

The system, which is easy and fast to assemble, combines scaffolding with natural materials that are easy to find, such as gravel, sand or earth, providing thermal insulation. Containers to channel and reuse rainwater are also incorporated. Watch the timelapse video above to see RE:BUILD in action and learn more about how it was used to build schools for refugee children in Jordan here.

Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble

© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects has released images of their first emergency shelter prototype designed for Nepal. Planned to be built by the end of August, the simple shelter is designed to be easily assembled by almost anyone. Using connecting modular wooden frames (3ft x 7ft or 90cm x 210cm), salvaged rubble bricks are used to infill the wall's cavities while paper tube trussing supports the roof. This, as Shigeru Ban says, will allow for "quick erection and nearly immediate inhabitation."

The Architects Foundation Launches Reconstruction Program for Nepal

Responding to the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the American Institute of Architects' Architects Foundation has launched a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action alongside the All Hands Volunteers to execute a replicable $3 million reconstruction plan for the Himalayan nation. Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA), Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA), Department of Small Works (an organization founded by Cameron Sinclair) and local architects will all partake in the program.

Emergency Floor: Help Refugees Worldwide "Get Off the Ground"

Millions of refugees across the globe, due to global conflict or natural phenomena, are forced to leave their homes and live in low-quality, temporary housing. The majority of these shelters lack a fundamental component of safety and well-being: floors. Emergency Floor is an initiative developed by Sam Brisendine and Scott Key to solve this problem, and bring safety to refugee shelters and the people in them. With their new Indiegogo campaign, Emergency Floor is working to provide efficient, inexpensive flooring that is directly geared towards assisting relief agencies.

Learn more about Emergency Floor after the break.

Underutilized Wood Pallets. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Module on Wood Pallet. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Floor Module Connection. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor Unsafe Living Conditions in Refugee Camp. Image Courtesy of Emergency Floor + 11

Exhibition & Symposium: Rebuild By Design Munich

Spanning practice and theory in an innovative and integrative manner, “REBUILD BY DESIGN MUNICH” is oriented towards a broad audience including the interested public, practitioners, scholars and students alike from disciplines in planning and design for the built environment.

Help Shigeru Ban Provide Emergency Shelter to Nepal

Shigeru Ban Architects, together with the Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN), has announced plans to send emergency shelter, housing and other community facilitates to the victims of Nepal's deadly April 25th earthquake. As part of a three-phase plan, Shigeru Ban will first delivery and assemble tents with plastic partitions acquired though donation to provide immediate shelter. A few months after, the Japanese practice will collaborate with local architects and students to build temporary housing with materials found prevalent in Nepal.

Permanent housing will also be provided in the architect-led recovery plan's third phase, although little details have been released. However, you can help make it happen by donating to Shigeru Ban's efforts (here).

Watch Shigeru Ban's TED Talk on paper emergency structures, after the break. 

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video interview above.

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of "NEXT BIG ONE," an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that "can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence."

A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.

Entry No. 626137 - Safety Arena. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626514 - Revive the Moat. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626139 - Modular Landscapes. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter Entry No. 626536 - Aqua Estate. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter + 16

OMA & BIG among 6 Winners in Rebuild By Design Competition

Yesterday, US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced OMA, BIG and four other teams as the winner of "Rebuild by Design", a competition aimed at rebuilding areas affected by Hurricane Sandy focusing on resilience, sustainability and and livability.

In total, HUD have allocated $920 million to the six projects in New York, New Jersey and Long Island to enable the completion of this vision.

Read more about the winning schemes after the break

New Medowlands: Productive City + Regional Park, by MIT CAU, ZUS, Urbanisten. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living, Growing Breakwaters: Staten Island and Raritan Bay, by SCAPE / Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living with the Bay: Resiliency-Building Options for Nassau County’s South Shore by Interboro Team. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org + 7

Can Design Compel Communities to Relocate After Natural Disaster?

If you lived in a region repeatedly devastated by storms, would common sense be enough to make you leave your memories behind? Two of the ten proposals for the Rebuild by Design competition (which included proposals from OMA and BIG) tackle this issue, providing designs that compel communities to move to safety. To learn more about this sensitive and increasingly relevant social and political issue, known as "Managed Retreat," check out James Russell's article on The Atlantic Cities.

Exploring Post Earthquake Reconstruction: 2013 AIM Competition Awards Announced

Architects in Mission (AIM) recently announced the winners for their 2013 competition with the topic, Post Earthquake Reconstruction, Ya’an Sichuan - Rebuild Panda’s Hometown from the Earthquake. The Ya'an Earthquake occurred at 08:02 Beijing Time on the 20th April 2013. The epicenter was located in Lushan County, Ya'an, Sichuan, about 116km (or 72 miles) from Chengdu (along the Longmenshan Fault) in the same province that was hit heavily by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. For this year's competition, AIM asked participants to pay particular attention to the master planning of the Snow Mountain Village, whilst developing new business models to encourage economic growth for local villagers. See the four winning entries after the break.