Gallery: Parasitic Emergency Homes Can Be Implanted Onto Abandoned Buil...

A side view of the shelters.

“With an avant-garde approach and forward thinking, as a designer, my goal was to provide sustainable homes for the stranded survivors in all the overly populated mega city, for this project specifically São Paulo,” writes Reyes of his design. “These emergency shelters are designed to rebuild a new community and help start future development. Rise’s method of creating a community is like a parasite, they take ownership, re-purposing and aiding abandoned structures; providing resources.”

Inspired by favelas or Brazilian shanty towns, the structures are box-like homes that can be attached onto the facades of other buildings. Reyes’ concept is unique in that it actually enlists able-bodied survivors to assist with the implementation of the shelters – a cool idea, since it empowers them to take action instead of simply sitting around, waiting for help. Reyes envisions that the pre-constructed structures could be airlifted by helicopter to sites where they are needed and then guided into place with the help of survivors. They “clip” onto building facades using leverage.

Each shelter would contain beds, lighting, storage and a skylight and be made of recycled materials from local construction sites. There would also be attachments for solar energy, water purification and organic farming. Finding muse in the famous favela paintings of Rio de Janeiro, Reyes also hopes that survivors will be able to use the walls of their shelters as canvases once they are settled in, using painting as a creative outlet as they begin the process of healing.

+ Mike Reyes


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  1. Mark McKee June 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Seems to me designing something that expands into a waterproof kitchen or waterporrof bedroom or waterproof bathroom, yet would still fit thru the window holes would be miles above this idea.

    And I think I’d be quite afraid to crawl into one of these and trusting that the hook used to hook onto the building is stable enough for my weight and the weight of others…. Sorry, not a change.

  2. kdteo March 10, 2011 at 4:07 am

    If it was a working building, say a residential tower which is inhabited by locals who do not mind a parasitic house attached to it. Then I would say its an awesome idea, I agree that using helicopters would cost alot more. What about just using cranes? Or not.. The idea is good for a city but the installation process seems unsafe for untrained people to be involved in.

    But yeah attaching structures to inhabited buildings would work i think. Provided the residents give permission.

  3. A for A February 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Absurd, if there is a safety hazard why would you put parasitic structures on to it?

  4. caeman February 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

    In addition to previous comments about re-using the abandoned building…the fact that a building is abandoned could lead to problems of re-use in the first place. Builds needs to be continually maintained to be safe. It they are left unmaintained, things begin to fail and the building becomes a safety hazard.

  5. metis February 23, 2011 at 11:32 am

    ok it’s a really cool idea, but it’s so impractical to be almost absurd.

    chopper air time isn’t cheap, and could be used better to drop supplies into cut off areas or for medivacs.

    if the building is abandoned, call me crazy, but what about using the existing structure? if it is hazardous, you don’t want survivors going through it to get to pods, and sussing out the engineering of if the building can support the pods is a bucket of technical talent that can be determining if things like hospitals are still safe. if it leaks, put up a few tents or tarps inside, and your shelter is sorted much faster and with fewer scarce resources.

  6. branflew February 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

    why not just set up in the vacant or abandoned buildings? Why hang a new structure off of an existing structure? The idea is neat, but I would think it would be a lot more efficient to just get the abandoned building functional.

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