Portland State University
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School Gymnasium Retrofit: Although there are several EQFs that address the basic needs of the afflicted, few examples take advantage of existing structures and go beyond the basic needs. As a result, the prospect of willingly quarantining in one of the existing EQFs may be so unappealing that the infected will opt to stay at home, possibly infecting their loved ones, cohabitators, and neighbors.
The aim of our project is to provide a temporary quarantine facility that provides a design and amenities that better accommodate the user experience than previous solutions have. Our methods used to achieve this goal will include a focus on designing a structure that will help maintain social and individual activities that may be otherwise lost during a quarantine, organizing the program to ease the functions of daily activities that benefit from natural light, fresh air, and appropriate noise levels, and accommodating the needs of privacy of the individual. Ultimately, we understand the difficulty designing a quickly assembled quarantine facility that does not feel constrictive, but we aim to design using materials and program that allay this feeling. We have chosen school gymnasiums as the operational base structure for the architecture.
Gymnasiums are prevalent, centered within their respective communities, will generally be unoccupied in times of quarantine, and are already outfitted with many of the underlying foundational needs that will support the functions of an emergency quarantine facility (EQF). Our proposal includes minor modifications to the existing structure to better suit the temporary installation of the architecture when it is needed and inserting temporary modules from recycled and prevalent materials designed to provide a more amenable experience for recovering patients. The recycled and reusable materials considered for assembling the modules include sanitized wooden pallets, recycled and reshaped plastic formed into transparent, semitransparent, and opaque panels, local light framing wood, and acoustic panels made from recycled wood pulp.
Pallet bedframes will provide lateral stability for the two walls. The design will incorporate guidelines suggested by MASS architects, as well as from existing EQFs like that of WTA Architects for their temporary structures; this entails wards of no more than 15 individual rooms, a nurse’s workstation, separate access to bathrooms for infected and healthy individuals, separate entrances for infected and healthy individuals, and isolated cleaning rooms between interior and exterior programs. In addition to these basic considerations, the temporary structure will be outfitted with improved HVAC, lighting, and acoustic panels to increase user comfort.
Social programs may include a projector wall (an app may be installed to phones to listen via headphones), a social distance communal area with partitioned breakout spaces for smaller group interaction, and trellis in circumstances which scattered light cannot be accommodated for in the immediate vicinity of the EQF.
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