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24 hours for field hospital project. Award-winning idea of Polish students

Dobrawa Bies
29 of June '21

A team of Wroclaw University of Technology students consisting of: Mikołaj Kalużny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kurtys, Maria Opłatek and Bartłomiej Tuczapski had 24 hours to develop a conceptual design for a field hospital that would help fight the COVID-19pandemic. Their idea "FLYING HOSPITAL" appealed to the judges of the "24H Architecture Competiton - Pandemic" competition, who awarded it an honorable mention.

The challenge of the Ideasforward portal's 37th "24H Architecture Competiton" was to prepare a conceptual design for a field hospital to combat the pandemic caused by COVID-19 in just 24 hours, with the need to come up with a structure that could be quickly assembled anywhere in the world. The space was to be more than a hospital, specifically a structure that could enable the fight against a pandemic through, for example, a large space for a vaccination center and testing.

The organizers did not impose budget constraints or specific design requirements on the participants. It was important to consider the program, which had to include: space for about a thousand beds, intensive care including three hundred beds, independent segments for vaccinations and tests, technical areas, support areas for doctors and nurses, vaccination booths and parking.

This competition is a sensational academic exercise to get us thinking about the role of architecture in society and its importance in emergency situations, say students from Wroclaw University of Technology.

Przykładowa
lokalizacja — lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie

The designed hospital should be possible to build anywhere

© Mikołaj Kałużny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kurtys, Maria Opłatek, Bartłomiej Tuczapski

honorable mention for PWr students

The submitted works were judged by a jury that included architects Joanna Helm, Cristina Mendonça, Perdro Santos, Sara Pelicano and Nuno Sampaio. From entries submitted from around the world, they selected three to receive grand prizes and seven honorable mentions, among which was the "Flying Hospital" project by a team from the Wroclaw University of Technology.

This pandemic revealed the urgent need to plan a rapid response to any impending disaster. The proposals submitted are great ideas in the field of emergency architecture. The submitted projects can be divided into three main groups: pop-up, modular and transformational forms. The competition was an excellent example of looking at public health architecture," said Pedro Santos.

Latający szpital

The authors chose Chopin Airport in Warsaw as an example location.

© Mikołaj Kałużny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kurtys, Maria Opłatek, Bartłomiej Tuczapski

Flying hospital made of inflatable membrane

In a pandemic world, it is crucial to provide a transformed space that is safe, sustainable and, most importantly, easy to transport. Therefore, a key consideration in the design by the students of Wroclaw University of Technology was the close location of the airport in relation to the designed building, as well as a compact and lightweight structure that can be easily both assembled and disassembled. Such features were achieved by the design team through the introduction of a system of individual modules made from recyclable paper waste sourced directly from airports. An inflatable membrane is created from the recycled waste on site. This membrane is supported by wooden beams, columns and ceilings with cutouts that can be easily constructed by sliding the components in question into each other.

Latający szpital,
modułowa konstrukcja Latający szpital jest
zbudowany z modułów

The project consists of a system of individual modules made from paper waste

© Mikołaj Kałużny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kurtys, Maria Opłatek, Bartłomiej Tuczapski

Such a system not only provides great flexibility - the structure can be adapted to the specific conditions of the airport - constructed outside or above the building. Its great advantage is the building material, which is easily accessible waste, found especially in such populated facilities as airports, the awarded students say.

The project includes four room modules: an internal medicine room, an intensive care room, a technical room with staff facilities, and a vaccination station. All the rooms were laid out on the same nine-by-nine-meter module and allow perfect adaptation to any emergency situation.

This is not the first success for the team of Nikolai Kaluzhny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kuryts, Maria Opłatek and Bartlomiej Tuczapski. The students won the earlier 36th edition of the "24H Architecture Competiton," which aimed to design a bridge in the Portuguese town of Algés. As you can see, the team copes well with time pressure, as participants have only 24 hours for each such project!

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