Earthquakes, like the devastating 7.5-magnitude quake that recently struck parts of South Asia, are inevitable. Smart design, however, can empower us to recover in the wake of disaster. To that end, Barberio Colella ARC designed “Just a Minute,” a quickly deployable disaster-relief housing proposal that gives earthquake victims the chance to rebuild their lives. The lightweight, modular shelters can be easily and inexpensively built from local materials and outfitted with self-sufficient technologies such as solar panels and rainwater collection systems.
Barberio Colella ARC’s temporary structures were designed as part of a competition launched by the Chinese website Ikuku. Originally created in response to the April 2015 Nepal earthquake that killed over 9,000 people, the “Just a Minute” project could easily be adapted for use in other countries as well. The quickly deployable home is mainly constructed from locally sourced bamboo and waterproof textiles, and doesn’t require any complex technologies or skilled labor.
Designed to house 4 to 10 people, each lightweight structure can be prefabricated offsite and airlifted into place. The innovative X-shaped bamboo pole construction allows the shelters to fold together into a compact 10-square-meter box for easy transport, but can also be expanded outwards, like an accordion, into its full 4-by-11.7-meter footprint once on site. The homes are insulated with wool padding sourced from old sweaters and clothing donations, and wrapped in a waterproof membrane. Laminated bamboo panels are used for flooring.
The interior centers on the OSB-paneled 6-square-meter bathroom and kitchen space. Two 16-square-meter rooms, one for communal activities and the other for sleeping, flank the central block. The house opens up to a 4-square-meter covered outdoor area. Solar panels and a rainwater collection system can be easily added to the mono-pitched roof. The modular design allows the users to easily expand the footprint of their home.
“An earthquake can ruin the life of an entire community in a minute,” writes Barberio Colella ARC. “This instant temporary home can give a new chance to start their life again in ‘just a minute’ as well. ‘Just a Minute’ aims to build a new life for nepalese people, giving them a simple but efficient house, very open to customization and future switching into a stable house.”
Images via Barberio Colella ARC