Laka2020 094 DesignAuthors’ description:
A transient recovery city refurbished entirely by robots to house displaced civilians using the remains of destroyed landscapes devastated by war.

War is a terrible endeavor, and it comes at a great cost. It has been the cause of mass destructions to lives, homes, communities and cultures at an unrecoverable scale. It takes a city a minimum period of 3 years in order to rebuild itself after war. To address the issue of delayed recovery, perhaps we ought to leverage robotics in the field of architecture as an opportunity to refurbish the destroyed city and rebuild communities that are able to react and respond flexibly to the dynamic destroyed landscape in a matter of months rather than years.

The site chosen for the project is the city of Homs which has been destroyed by the ongoing war in Syria. Prior to the war, Homs was a beautiful historic landscape with timeless architecture that depicted the cultural richness of its communities. By mid-2012, it had been declared as a war zone and armed militias had taken over.

Trans:City is concept project that aims at populating destroyed cities in a fraction of the time it takes to rebuild a city from the ground up including: infrastructure, utilities and housing. The proposal incorporates a sequence of systems that are activated at different phases of the process to solve different issues and satisfy a multitude of conditions. The fist step in the sequence begins by releasing a fleet of drones to scan the landscape and assess damages; such preliminary step is crucial in order to analyze the terrain and determine where ground robots can be deployed. After the preliminary assessment is complete, ground machinery is discharged or unloaded in positive geozones. While deployment takes place, drones rescan buildings that were deemed salvageable creating a detailed 3D pointcloud image of each specific building condition to later used as basis for creating and installing livable pods. Using an army of tireless robots, programmed to create rather than destroy, each unit within the Trans:City modular system consists of a 3D-printed concrete pod broken down further into 2 identical parts that are semi-rectangular in shape, allowing a stationary robotic arm to produce massive quantities in very short periods of time. These sub-parts come together creating a whole pod that is highly customizable, repeatable and individualized.

Such system is environmentally sustainable since the carbon fiber reinforced concreted is collected on site form the structures that were deemed unsalvageable. The rebar is stripped out and reformed while the concrete is crushed and remixed to feed the onsite 3D-printer arms. Through the reuse of material, this process has low embodied energy and contributes to solving the greater environmental issues at hand.

The living unit itself is reactive and adaptable. Each unit is configured to meet the specific needs of multiple sized families. Each unit provides sleeping spaces for up to two people and by applying various pod configurations, the living units can grow or shrink to fit a desired number of people. Hence, the result is a product that is highly reactive to the needs of the occupant, community and city.

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