Emergency architecture designs on display


Special Report: One Year after 5.12 Quake |

An exhibition marking the May 12th Wenchuan earthquake has opened at the National Art Museum of China. Entitled "Crossing: Dialogues for Emergency Architecture" the exhibition showcases 16 ingenuous designs, aimed at raising awareness over the prevention and relief of natural disasters and epidemics.

Over twenty architects from around the world brought their designs to the National Art Museum of China for the opening on Tuesday afternoon, one year after the Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province last May.

Construction workers had laid down the final wood boards on a makeshift bridge, which allowed the delegates to enter the exhibition.

Visitors are taken into a crumbling scene of dilapidated rooftops and falling walls, evoking a sense of horror and grief at the time of the earthquake. The slanting walls and uneven ground makes one seek emergency shelter in the first one, a Swiss exhibit of a solid table that can hold up to several hundred pounds. Emergency materials including an oxygen bottle, drinking water, an electric torch and a knife are tucked away, providing temporary relief in times of disaster.

A comparatively long-term bamboo shelter is presented by Peru-based artist Alexia Lon, whose structure adjusts to wind direction and the angle of the sun rays with a convertible shade.

Chinese students from the Central Academy of Arts have designed an environmentally-friendly shell-like paper shelter. The use of white and brown paper ensures the inhabitant receives the ideal amount of natural light.