Concertina-like disaster shelter envisioned for Nepal

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The concept shelter was designed for a disaster housing competition and is dubbed Just a Minute(Credit: Barberio Colella ARC)

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Following the severe earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this year, Italian firm Barberio Colella ARC has designed a disaster shelter dubbed Just a Minute for displaced Nepalese people. Though likely to remain on the drawing board, the shelter features some interesting ideas, including a concertina-like expandable structure that facilitates transportation.

Designing a viable disaster shelter is one thing, but getting it into the hands of the people who need it most can often prove expensive and time-consuming, so an easily-transportable shelter offers obvious benefits. Like Designobis' Tentative shelter, Just a Minute aims to address this with an expandable structure.

The shelter comprises a solid oriented strand board center section that houses the bathroom and kitchen areas, with the living and sleeping areas located to either side. These latter areas are housed within a bamboo framework and covered by a waterproof membrane.

The shelter would measure only 2.5 x 4 m (8.2 x 13 ft) while being transported, but once safely in place, a pivoting bamboo framework would allow volunteers to pull out its side sections to expand it, concertina-like, to 4 x 11.7 m (13 x 38 ft). Barberio Colella ARC says that in this guise, it could shelter up to 10 people.

Insulation would come in the form of layers of burlap stuffed with donated woolen clothing, while roof-based solar panels would offer juice for small devices, or perhaps lighting. A basic roof-based rainwater catchment system is also envisioned to offer water for kitchen and bathroom use.

A few obvious concerns spring to mind though, including the durability of the bamboo expanding framework, and whether such a structure would provide adequate protection from the Himalayan country's changeable climate. Perhaps it would be better suited to temperate climes.

Sources: Archinect, Ikuku via Arch Daily

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