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Dauphin Island Series: Natural Disaster proof fortsBy Ananta Dutta
Architecture Tweet 0 Comment(s)
A home is not merely a shelter but also fulfills the need for safety, security, growth and prosperity. However, proper disaster management strategies are needed to be adopted right from the conceptual stage of designing homes, to provide that level of safety and security. In case of natural disasters, the home should be able to protect the people and its structure should not succumb to the mishap. Artist Dionisio GonzaIlez, in his Dauphin Island series, made some beautiful conceptual renderings of natural disaster proof forts. Though he hasn’t worked on the structural layout, his renderings are so fascinating that many American architects treat his work more like something out of an architecture studio rather than from an artist.
Dauphin Island was originally named as the “massacre island” and keeping up its name, it has witnessed catastrophic hurricanes and cyclones. It is located in the American state of Alabama with the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Mississippi Sound and the Bay of Mobile to the north. Hurricanes Katrina, Ivan and even a recent oil spill has left the island devastated. Katrina had caused the loss of 250 homes within the surface area of 16 square kilometers and Ivan, 170 homes in the more open western part of the island. The oil spill of 20th April 2010, in the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, caused spillage of 800,000 liters of crude oil in a day. Approximately 172 kilometers of barriers have been installed along the whole coast. Over 1.9 million gallons of chemical dispersants have been poured to dissolve all the crude oil.
When a storm hits this island with a very less population of 1,200 people, the entire coastline washes away at times, leaving the people to re-build their houses all over again. Therefore, the idea behind Dionisio González’s Dauphin Island series is to "give shape to new habitable structures in the vacuums in the perception of spaces that had previously been devastated."
These surreal, futuristic forts that are inspired by Neolithic stilt houses are made of iron and concrete. These bulbous, oblong and curvilinear structures that look like bunkers and spaceships are made in a way to enable the strong winds of the storm to pass without damaging the structure.
Although, these forts are not structurally tested and not assessed for wind-loads, González has successfully managed to express a social concern with a suitable concept which can be developed further. And it certainly gives an impression on how future island homes would look like.
The following pictures show the renderings by the artist:
Images Source: http://www.dionisiogonzalez.es/2011_dauphin.html
Watch the video here:
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