Disaster Relief Housing: Wildfire Displacement in Santa Rosa, CA.
The amount of residents displaced by fire disasters is unpredictable and poorly managed by our communities. Many communities across the United States resort to housing victims in local schools, gymnasiums, churches and homeless shelters. Many victims are forced to bounce around homes of family and friends, and some even go so far as to pay out of their own pockets to stay in hotels in the aftermath.
Even worse, in the aftermath of disasters like this housing crises emerge and force home prices to skyrocket.
Santa Rosa faced all these issues in 2017, when a large wildfire spread into the city, killing 42 people and destroying 8,400 structures.
Utilizing an abandoned airstrip centrally located in Santa Rosa, we began to develop a scale at which to work that could be aggregated to house either 100 people, or up to 10,000 people. Developing concrete utility pods was crucial to allow for this.
Permanent utility pods became hyper-functional -
- storing all temporary components when not in use.
- providing a grounded structure for the entire breathable super-tent to be suspended from.
- central cores housing air intake, water filtration, energy generation and sewage waste disposal.
- creating medical spaces, bathrooms and kitchens for victims.
During fire season, the shelter will be set up accordingly and aggregated appropriately in order to cope with the disasters.
When not in use, all temporary components are stored and the pods revert to simple sculptures in an abandoned airstrip.
The intention is for these to create revenue by posing an opportunity for events to take place around these cores when not in use for emergency relief. This ensures they retain functionality, and do not disrupt the community fabric.
As they are permanent, they are sealed to the public unless designated for use.
Representationally, we used vandalism and graffiti as a point of motivation, or encouragement.