Woods Bagot's Brisbane studio, along with several other international architects, recently took action in raising public awareness about the role of the design and construction industry in the aftermath of natural disasters.
The ‘Cocoon’ installation, designed by Woods Bagot, was exhibited in Brisbane's King George Square, highlighting the need for emergency shelters in disaster zones and to raise funds from sponsors and the public in order to donate to the natural disaster affected areas around the world.
The brief: propose a shelter that could not only protect people from rain and other elements in emergency situations but also provide a space to feel secure and comfortable in a disastrous environment, fundamental to the recovery process in these circumstances.
As global citizens we all know the devastating impact of natural disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, the 2011 Queensland Floods, the 2004 Thailand/Indonesia Tsunami amongst many others. As an industry we need to understand the importance of a structure for people to be sheltered from the elements and have a safe area to call home.
Empowered by giving something back to the community, the Brisbane team explored the concept of 'cocoon as shelter' for the Brisbane 2012 Emergency Shelter Exhibition. The themes of protection, safety, ease of construction, simplicity and elegance were examined through swathing a number of different materials to create a haven from severe storm weather.
The cocoon does not attempt to fight the adverse weather – it provides protection yet moves and flexes to reduce the strain on the main structure. Supported by a core timber structure, it accommodates up to four people sitting or lying.
The final design constructed from plywood sheets, can be easily flat packed, delivered by plane or truck and assembled with little or even no tools on site.
The cocoon template utilised a 2400mm x 1200mm plywood sheet to its full capacity ensuring little wastage. With a large variety of climates and environments within Queensland, the cladding reflected the local area and available materials, but in the event of a disaster, alternative cladding options could include fishing nets, chicken wire fencing and palm fronds.
Congratulations to the team involved: Ama Adikari, Barry Paterson, Bronwyn McColl, Carolyn McLean, Olivia Mathisen, Glenn Sinclair and Simon Knight.
Emergency Shelter Exhibition participating architectsWoods Bagot, Architectus, Donovan Hill, Tonic, TVS architects, Riddel Architecture, Neylan Architecture, Conrad Gargett, Arkhefield, Jackson Teece, PDT Architects