Global warming has caused unpredictable patterns in climate change which leads to numerous natural disasters around the world. Recently, Thailand had been seriously impacted by the Great Flood, which also cost losses in human lives and properties. This also meant the bulk of the country’s budget would have to be spent in restoring many areas that were affected by the flood. Most of all, people’s lives and lifestyle were badly affected.
In the old days people were able to live a normal life with water as part of their life by building houses on stilts. However, such design is not applicable to the modern lifestyle because people’s needs have changed.
This raises a question for architects and designers: How can we design housing for the future that takes into account the natural disasters/ floods occurring on a regular basis? This question led to the design of the Amphibious House.
The Amphibious House utilizes a different construction system than normal buildings which happens entirely on-site. This is because most of the construction materials are put together using the brick and cement plaster technique and also depend largely on the skills of the construction workers. However, this conventional construction system must be in a particular sequence, which means if any process is delayed, it can affect the following stage. If the construction system can be divided into different parts and can happen simultaneously, i.e. one part being done on-site and the other being done in a factory, it will increase the efficiency of the construction system.
This research study originated from witnessing the Great Flood and seeing the impact that was widespread in the country, which caused losses in lives, properties, and the country’s budget to restore affected areas. Of course, the natural disasters have been occurring and been damaging to people’s lives. Floods are not a new phenomenon and occurs almost every year, but in fact, it is the people’s lifestyle that changed; In the old days, houses were built to suit local living conditions, cultures, and traditions, such as ‘water cultures’ and ‘rice cultures’; therefore, ancient houses were built to blend with each season. In normal conditions, the space below the Thai house was used as a multipurpose area, whether it was storing crops, raising livestock, or retreating from work. When it’s rainy season and the water overflows, the Thai house on stilts allowed for the water to flow naturally underneath the houses. These houses on stilt started disappearing with time for various reasons. The mode of transportation changed from boats to automobiles, or even people’s occupation changed: Agriculture was taken over by urban lifestyle. In addition, the gravity of each flood increases as time goes by. For these reasons, the Thai people cannot avoid the consequences of the floods and this is how the research study initiated.
The goal of this project is to design housing for disaster relief by starting from an understanding of the actual behaviors and needs of the residents. This understanding can be applied when developing a practical design in the future. During the development of the design, there should be an experimental construction to prove that the design is actually feasible. In order to both provide relief for the flood and offer a proactive solution, the design of the building must include a feature that allows the house/building to float above the water level during the flood, so that the resident(s) can continue living a normal life as much as possible.
Ayuthaya , thailand
Chutayaves Sinthuphan , Pasit Siritanaaree
April 18, 2018