Reborn- Plan for Survival

Gabion Houses

1. What is the role and responsibility of architecture, before and after the disaster like earthquake has struck?

Good architecture contemplates the needs of the public, even when these are not of imminent concern. Most of the times, the needs of a society are left aside due to a complex of reality, and the capabilities to having better options for adequate preparation and infrastructure. In earthquake prone zones, the anticipation of needs can significantly impact the whole outcome of a crisis, because it is known that earthquakes will happen sooner or later. Resilient plans of actions. and proper preparation for worst case scenarios are the key to provide the feeling of safety to a population which lives under a constant status of alert. Architects have to design for these hidden needs and foster the feeling of safety for today and a future day on the people.

2. What is the concept behind your project?

To prepare for the future as the key element for a successful Reborn. The idea is to have all facilities, materials. and equipment in place before anything occurs. To aid for a fast recovery, a 4-step process was designed. It stats with a “Rescue” plan that can take place immediately after the event. Simultaneously, the “Access- plan to facilitate all operations is executed. In little time, all people can be out of risk, and materials are free to flow throughout the city under the “Supply’ scheme. Lastly. the “Rebuild- process where cleaning of debris is needed, was combined with the reconstruction process to allow for a fast recovery. The 4 steps were deigned to improve efficiency in a mission for a fast and full recovery of normality.

3. What is your chosen mode of intervention and why? (Architecture ideas, Transient/Quick relief/Action Plan)

The intervention seeks for a holistic approach to relieve an expected crisis. It does not look at a habitational solution, or an action plan, but rather at the entire chain of events going from normality, through chaos, and back to normality, to be able to alleviate this process. The most important thing to go through dramatic events like earthquakes is that the population feels contemplated. To create this feeling of being taken care of, the solutions must come fast, and in an organized way and the structure of the proposed plan aims to do this at the best possible way.

4. How is your design scalable?

The concept for the rebuild using gabions was proposed due to the low expertise needed. and the reusability of materials. The needed equipment is minimal, and the materials for reconstruction are cheap and readily available (especially the debris that fill the gabions which are the main component). The designs can be easily learned by people and be shared through neighborhoods under reconstruction. As a matter of fact. inhabitants can collaborate in each other’s rebuilding process to acquire this knowledge while at the same time build strong community bods in a harsh situation. The same preparation plan and construction technique can be easily replicated in other earthquake prone areas around the world.

5. How is your design can be implemented fast into existing cities of Iran?

The concept can be easily replicated because it is based on the placement of strategic locations like: “Operation Centers”, “Food Supply Centers- and “Medical Centers” around the city. These are matched with an accessibility plan which focuses on joining these centers as quickly as possible. For this recovery plan to work in another city, it is only a need to allocating these types of centers around a city, which most of the cases, can be fabricated by the remodeling of an existent space (e.g. abandoned parking lots. parks. vacant buildings. etc.). Any city would not have difficulties to find suitable spaces that can transform into these focal points and prepare adequately for a disaster event.

6. Describe the aspect of practicality and what makes this idea feasible?

The materials to rebuild the city. the gabions. can be purchased and stored in advance. These do not represent high costs as they are made of commonly used fences. The foldability aspect of the gabions can facilitate their storage. and later transportation to the affected areas. Then, the reutilization of debris as a construction material means that the cleanup process is part of the reconstruction itself speeding up the recovery times. Also. reutilizing debris represents less material need, and less hauling required which decreases costs significantly. These two concepts combined give the recovery process many advantages for an efficient implementation.