Floating Roof Relief.

This is a quick idea – very quick! No where near resolved, but challenges how we deliver relief to sites that have been affected by a natural disaster.

Recently Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan has worked itself through my mother’s home land of the Philippines. Relief didn’t reach many areas for a while leaving people unsheltered. This is a quick idea I had drawing inspirations from many places – here is the thought process…

A big roof. 

If a site has been destroyed so much that there are no more buildings, where can people take shelter. Is providing many people with many tents a good solution? By creating a large roof we can shelter many people as well as shelter land that can begin to be cleared and worked on. It acts as a structure that unifies the land. It eliminates the fact that some people may get a tent and some may not – there would be no hierarchy. It also allows for possibilities of providing lighting at night to deter looting/robbing. It can also provide energy by absorbing sun light. It can also collect rain water. A big roof has many potentials – but how? it needs to be lightweight, quick to deploy and effective. Originally I thought of a bucky dome infilled with pillows – it is a framed structure that is flexible to take after shocks in earthquake zones.

buckminster fuller dome over manhatten

Dome over Manhatten: Buckminster Fuller

Montreal_Biosphere buckminster fuller

Montreal Biospehere: Expo 67 – Buckminster Fuller

Creating a totally sealed off dome would help control the climate – but this structure is too ambitious for something that needs swift deployment – foundations need to be laid.

A super-uber-hyper light weight structure.

This may be a better solution. I recently attended a lecture by Graham Stevens where he briefly spoke about his fascinated Desert Cloud, 1972. This was a structure that floated purely by solar radiation.

Desert Cloud - Graham Stevens, 1972

Desert Cloud – Graham Stevens, 1972

This is what I want! I know highly optimistic, but something similar. Something that can float above anywhere, be anchored to be secure with weight and provides shelter. Maybe there are other methods of allowing structures to float, but what fascinates me is that this is purely powered by nature. Something that can be found everywhere, the sun.

Another project that I find fantastic is the Instant City by Archigram during the 1970’s.

"Instant City is a mobile technological event that drifts into underdeveloped, drab towns via air (balloons) with provisional structures (performance spaces) in tow. The effect is a deliberate overstimulation to produce mass culture, with an embrace of advertising aesthetics. The whole endeavor is intended to eventually move on leaving behind advanced technology hook-ups."

“Instant City is a mobile technological event that drifts into underdeveloped, drab towns via air (balloons) with provisional structures (performance spaces) in tow. The effect is a deliberate overstimulation to produce mass culture, with an embrace of advertising aesthetics. The whole endeavor is intended to eventually move on leaving behind advanced technology hook-ups.”

This is a large scale mobile architecture. This is perfect! 

With technology nowadays, the large fabric can have photovoltaics weaved into it – therefore harvesting energy that can be stored in large batteries that act as anchors on ground level. The fabric can have embedded lights to light up the area at night, mimicking starlight. And, the natural drape of the material can harvest rain water, which is more than likely the cleanest water they can get ahold of.

The Floating Roof.

This floating canopy tours the sites of disasters providing shelter, energy, light and water harvesting. The project is structurally (and maybe architecturally) optimistic – but maybe one day something similar can be achieved. Please excuse the drawings – they were done super quickly!

timeline

timeline

The canopy will float over devastated areas that have not been reached by relief. The canopy will shelter the many people from the rain and the photovoltaic canopy will provide energy and lighting for the community. Local workforce can then begin to clear and rebuild whilst being sheltered and have light during night. When the area beneath is completed the canopy can float onto the next place that needs relief by moving the anchors of the canopy.

sketch elevation

sketch elevation – anchoring cables conduct photovoltaic energy from the canopy down into anchors that are batteries.

floating roof relief

floating roof relief

Many floating roofs can tour the country to help multiple areas that need relief.

Many floating roofs can tour the country to help multiple areas that need relief.

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