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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Breakthrough post-earthquake prototype makes profound humanitarian impact!

By Vinita Wagh
Photography: JAG Studio & El Sindicato Arquitectura
Infography: Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki – Al Borde & El Sindicato Arquitectura
Read Time: 2 mins
"earthquake rehab proto AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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AL BORDE + El Sindicato Arquitectura reinvent traditional building technology to develop a post-earthquake prototype that is literally making waves in the ‘Earthquake Architecture’ community…

The earthquake that shook the Ecuadorian Coast in April 2016 rendered thousands homeless and left behind a rubble of collapsed houses, revealing improper, informal construction. While the problem lay in the overall blueprint of construction across the rural and urban areas, the architects sought to make the most impact through minimal intervention.

"housing prototype tetrapak roof AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"housing prototype phase2 AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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The 100 sq. m. prototype is a local, industrialised, seismic structure that is not only customisable, but also modular, replicable and context-sensitive. It is sustainable, versatile and adaptable.

The prefab plywood main frame and concrete foundation, the recycled tetrapack roof, and the use of standard materials allows for efficient and time-saving construction; it can be assembled in any rural area without the need for specialized machinery or workforce - the first ones built from repurposed materials used in Germany’s ‘Habitat III’ temporary exhibition.

"basic units AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"built prototype AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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The proposed module can be personalised with two planned expansions. The basic unit has three bedrooms while subsequent extensions support a bathroom, cellar, kitchen, balcony, and a dining. The spaces can be structured into both vertical and horizontal units, allowing the module to evolve as per user needs. The dwelling’s replicability also lies in its materiality – plastics, fabrics, metal sheets, earth, bamboo, timber, especially the local sawn wood found across the whole country; what’s more, the construction endorses self-assembly.

Weather and sunlight guide the orientation of the prototype on site, with air currents warranting cross-ventilation. Façades and vistas capitalise on site conditions, influencing internal zoning. Privacy, landscape and natural light through the day take precedence, and the four façades of the module seek to maximise the same. 

"housing proto AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"post earthquake housing proto AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"door AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"open door AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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"interior housing AL BORDE+El Sindicato Arquitectura indiaartndesign"
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Designed to accommodate parameters of different sites, this modular system experiments with the envelope and façade technologies. While chopped cane, cement plaster and earth paint compose the original module, walls of bahareque plaster and earth paint envelope the extension, manifesting a harmonious design language.

The architects combine local techniques and modern approaches to translate this four-walled space into a breakthrough project that has a profound humanitarian impact on poor, overlooked communities.

Fact File
Project: Post-Earthquake Prototype – Rural Dwelling
Client: Familia Viteri Hidalgo 
Architects: Al Borde & El Sindicato Arquitectura
Project Coordinator: Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki – Al Borde & El Sindicato Arquitectura
Engineering: Mathieu Lamour
Constructor: El Sindicato Arquitectura, ENOBRA & Miguel Ramos
Area: 100.00 sq. m.
Location: Los Horconcitos, Manabí, Ecuador


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