Innovative emergency shelter design

December 4, 2013

London born Japanese architect Jun Sakaguchi showcased his innovative emergency shelter at the recent 3x3x3 Design Challenge.

At the recent 3x3x3 Design Challenge, London born Japanese architect Jun Sakaguchi showcased his innovative ZINCALUME steel clad emergency shelter. The Powerhouse Museum hosted the event, in collaboration with talented designers who approached the shelter projects with a social awareness.

Three design teams, each with a different focus – health, safety and community – were given a 3 x 3 x 3 metre exhibiting space to display their finished shelter. The safety-emergency shelter team consisted of architects Jun Sakaguchi and Jeremy Bishop with support from Nettleton Tribe Architects, L U Simon Builders and Redwood Projects.

Mr Sakaguchi specified ZINCALUME steel to clad the shelter’s external shell for its structural integrity and malleable properties suitable for making curved shapes.

“The organic shape of the shelter comes from the combined functions of people’s movements which are ‘stand’, ‘sit’ and ‘sleep’. Its shape is sympathetic to the Australian landscape while providing a soft look to the otherwise stark appearance of a disaster area,” he says.

Visitors to the Design Challenge were encouraged to interact with the shelters, with many leaving their wishes to earthquake victims on origami paper attached to the mesh wall interior of Sakaguchi’s shelter.

The impact of the devastating 2011 Japanese earthquake was felt globally, affecting many who shared in the shock of the natural disaster’s aftermath. With such extreme loss of life and so many survivors displaced, many in the design community were inspired to create new emergency solutions to help preserve the lives of people caught in future disasters.

In 2011, Sakaguchi had responded to the earthquake immediately, deciding to co-ordinate that year’s Emergency Shelter Exhibition at the Customs House in Sydney. This led to further exhibitions in Brisbane and Melbourne, and to Sakaguchi’s mission: to promote the need for designers to continue developing emergency shelter solutions.

The not-for-profit event raised $38,000 from the Sydney exhibition alone, with proceeds distributed to the Red Cross and global victims of natural disasters.

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