Flood Architecture: Lauren Pritchard

27 11 2008

Last Thursdays class Edd Epp gave a lecture on flood architecture. More specifically The International Centre for Flood Architecture. It was a very interesting discussion not only because of the importance of this type of architecture but also because at that time in studio my group was facing the challenge of how to deal with a city that regularly floods. In architecture there are many things to be taken into consideration.  Flooding is a major issue for designers.

In Edd’s presentation he covered several flood cases and how devastated these natural disasters left the communities. Not only do we have to design in case of a disaster, but we must also design for temporary shelter as well as post disaster rebuilding. Design is involved in all aspects of a built structures life therefor we must always be thinking we can work with the environment, designing our buildings with the knowledge of the occurrences, and planning for them.

There are many areas of the world where water constantly is interlaced with the built environment, Venice, and Amsterdam for example. These great cities have perfected water design, from there canals to there bridging systems. But what happens to cities who are not adequately designed for flooding situations. Tragedy. Cities that are not prepared structurally for large quantities of water can be left in tatters. Take New Orleans for example, New Orleans was hit in 2005 by hurricane Katrina, because of New Orleans poor flood planning and inadequate flood system, 90 percent of the city flooded. Taking lives and destroying much of the city. This is an example of what can happen if flooding is not considered in design. Katrina was a powerful and dangerous hurricane by nay means, destruction of some degree was inevitable, however if sustainable flood architecture would have been implemented into New Orleans, they may have been able to protect much of the city as well as prevented many deaths.

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