• Deen Gabriel

Turtle-inspired bamboo shelter contracts to half its size in case of extreme weather

With extreme weather wreaking havoc around the world, there is a need for resilient shelters more than ever before. EEMY Architecture and Design has created a sustainable and resilient structure that can withstand nearly all severe conditions. Delta is a bamboo shelter that retracts into itself when challenged by stormy weather and expands during non-severe weather.

Delta was created in collaboration with the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb and GFDRR. Using the Philippines as an example of areas that are prone to natural disasters, the team’s design strategy was to create something that could withstand even the most extreme weather emergencies, from floods and superstorms to typhoons and earthquakes. The structure was inspired by the traditional Filipino Bahay-kubo houses. The main frame is comprised of 12-centimeter-wide bamboo poles with trusses built in between for added stability. The bamboo poles are treated with a boron solution that makes them repellent to insects, a common issue in tropical climates.

Created in a wide, pyramidal shape, the structure is elevated off the ground to withstand high waters. When bad weather hits, the shelter can contract to half its size, much like a turtle does at the first sign of danger. This feature is made possible by a series of folding bamboo tents that contract to half the structure’s size (430 square feet) and expand to its full size (861 square feet) after a storm. Additionally, the structure’s many windows and “wings” can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a shade from the harsh sun, drying racks or even market stalls.

In addition to its flexible, sustainable and resilient design features, the Delta shelter comes with an incredibly reasonable price tag and construction time. Each bamboo shelter starts at $8,500 and can be constructed within 28 days.


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