Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-6-2011

Document Type



the human state in the aftermath of a crisis is at its most vulnerable.

the goal of disaster relief is to evaluate the needs of a community and options available for creating shelters for displaced persons in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

after a disaster, more than at any other time, people are concerned about their safety and security. architecture has the ability to provide a level of comfort through dwellings, which provide shelter,

privacy and security. once safety and stability are established, a healing process can begin.

architecture has two basic solutions for disaster relief. the first is to set up a temporary site and structure designed for efficient construction and deconstruction. the second response is to create a more permanent solution. in either response, a structure should minimally impact the area on which it exists, and designs should nurture growth of the site and surrounding context rather than destroy it.

currently, in many cases there is a disconnect between temporarily established shelters and the construction of more permanent dwellings. research will explore the existing building methods from the more temporary shelters to the more permanent, in an attempt to bridge the gap between the two. an analysis of this research will provide insight to building needs and minimums along with a comprehensive understanding of how materials and services are obtained. research will explore new and improved methods for constructing and implementing them into these shelters. case studies will examine many different building types and how each solution solved specific problems. the disasters themselves will also be explored, along with how their devastation affects the local landscape.

this terminal project will focus on how to better integrate a set of permanent and site specific dwellings and community resource spaces into a ravaged community.

the goal of this disaster relief project is to design a community resource center and shelter that will act as a sustainable intervention for people affected by a natural disaster as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

the designed product will be a series of permanent structures built on a site recently devasted by natural disaster. the basic program comes from a set of minimums required for the center. each community center will need a certain number of square feet, a set number of classrooms, offices and living space. minimal changes would be made to these plans based on location of the site and a response to local building traditions and local building resources. the goal is to create a standardized

checklist that is molded to respond to site-specific building materials and local building skill set.

to produce a more permanent structure, every type of building system will need to be researched, from the structural characteristics of each of the materials used to the plumbing and electrical systems, if applicable. included in this research would be the exploration of sustainable characteristics of these building systems and building materials. local resources and material availability would play a role in determining structural components and building details. this will not be a "one size fi ts most" community program that is shipped to each site. the objective is to establish a list of criteria for a buildings needs, and square footage minimums. this criteria would also assess the availability of materials and a skilled labor force. each individual site, given its climatic location and cultural traditions would generate different responses to this list of criteria. the success of disaster relief is to make it adaptable for a variety of physical site conditions. to explore these varieties, three sites would be chosen to study based earthquake devastation. sites will range from every inhabitable continent on the globe, with diverse cultures, climates, income levels, and social structures. the sites will be located in developing communities who are struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake. a possible site locations include such countries as; sri lanka, the philippians, pakistan, turkey, guatemala, indonesia, the dominican republic, and the andreanof islands in alaska. as an example; guatemala, turkey and indonesia have very different cultural traditions, social structures, and building styles, yet they all suffer from ravaging earthquakes. an analysis of these three locations would discover that each would have a different built response to the earthquake. for example, construction in guatemala typically uses timber studded walls covered in stucco or painted plywood board, which are set on a foundation of fi lled concrete block. in some locations, wood is more readily available and would be used as roof and window coverings. alternatively, in sri lanka, homes in rural villages are typically dry-stacked earth blocks resting on a stone foundation. newer, more earthquake resistant construction is built out of hollow concrete block with reinforced steel rods. turkey on the other hand, being a more developed nation with an arid environment, low rise structures are typically built from timber reinforced stone walls covered in stucco, with wooded details and tiled roofs.

Included in

Architecture Commons