Background Study and Design Context
Kathmandu valley has been undergone inappropriate urban development and with growing population exacerbated the chaotic expansion in the capital city. This form of urbanization posed serious physical threat to the centuries’ old ancient stone spouts system that provides clean water to the residents in significant cultural marker sites of sacred identity. Studies suggested that this is largely due to unregulated constructions dug on the ancient underground channels that fed the spouts, which caused the ancient system to fail and most of the water spouts to dry up to-date.
The rich in the city might have alternative to get their own drinking water, but the poor majority whom depending on the spout for free water were forced to dig their own wells directly feeding on arsenic polluted underground aqua. The unplanned urbanization and over-extraction of groundwater is crushing the ancient supply system of the stone spouts and gradually discrediting their ingenious architectural water supply function and changing the social structure of community cohesiveness.
Furthermore, considering the lack of effective filtration layers of the geomorphic structure, clean and drinkable underground water is in a serious shortage with high health threats for the residents.
Therefore, it is urgent to find alternative and sustainable architectural solution that do not feed on the already depleting water infrastructure, but to find a new way to collect clean water before competent urban regeneration can fully function. When earthquakes hit Nepal and affects Kathmandu, drinkable water provision becomes an imperative - a priority for resilience through design.
Aligning the above outlined contextual issue to the given design challenge to have huge amount of shelters build within 48 hours. We have proposed emergency shelter types that are able to build up rapidly and in large quantity by recycle collected wood debris from collapsed buildings. In addition, we've learned from nature in our design for a water-harvesting tower that is part of the emergency shelter prototype based on sustainable water architecture in biomimicry. It actively functions to collect clean and drinking water directly from the condensation of fog, making less dependent on increasing unpredictable rainwater and stalling from excessive underground water extraction. The water-harvesting tower serves as a main “server station” and as a catalytic design for introducing new modular infrastructure system to the surroundings of Kathmandu. It serves clean water to the residents, and has a role of symbolizing self-efficiency, safeguarding life from a sustainable provision of water for living, an analogy to be - the 'Pavitra pānī' (Holy Water).
Three prototypes are proposed to meet the issue and design challenge. The first is the sustainable water harvesting tower, aim to build up within 72 hours after earthquake. The design aims to remain for longer term use in the future as a low tech but economically viable infrastructure operating in modular system to facilitate a change for the existing infrastructure. The second prototype is an emergency shelter, we developed the structure by studying versatility and unifying principle of an umbrella. We are inspired by its independent structure that is able to create an unified space once it is opened up. We design a structural unit that is able to provide a modular system to achieve spatial unification that is for the ease of assemble within 48 hours in large quantity. The shelter is built with flexible-ergonomic design to optimize personality by catering to individual scale for the needs in providing choices to the user. Individuals can help to decide and assemble based on their own individual bodily sized shelter for more comforts. It is multifunctional with building extension modular system to fit different program. For examples, it can be extended to assemble and fit a temporary school or nursery, or a community center for gathering and safe keeping.
The third prototype is a shelter combined with water-harvesting system. The residents of emergency shelter is able to be self-efficient, collecting their own clean drinkable water. We have considered for the resilience role of the shelter design, and the affordance of the shelter is design for victims that lost their home and need a temporary housing for at least a duration of 6 month or longer. The shelter can be easily disassembled, easy to transport and reassemble in another area or shelter spot. Due to the availability in wood crafting from the local artisans, it is probable and preferable to use wooden construction techniques and joints for the three prototypes.
It is our team’s hope that our school training in sustainable architecture in biomimicry design can make a difference for the poor, helping those in needs of clean and free drinking water while accommodating their post-quake living and harnessing resilience through design.
|功能/program：||综合体 幼儿园 民居|