Emergency Relief Station
This thesis explores the potential large public architecture offers for efficient transformation into a relief station in post-disaster situations. The increase in catastrophic disasters globally has demonstrated a widespread lack of preparedness in these situations. There is a shortage of safe, comfortable, and self-sufficient hubs for coordinating relief activity, for sheltering temporarily and providing emergency care to disaster victims, and relief personnel. Disaster relief generally involves the urgent dispatching of medical supplies, food, water, blankets, sanitation systems, temporary shelters, and relief personnel to affected locations. Following the recent devastating spate of earthquakes and flood disasters in New Zealand makeshift relief centres were set up in public parks, schools, and community facilities to house displaced victims. These were set up to function as efficient relief stations. The facilities also depend heavily on deployed relief supplies and the public for donations and support. In addition, these relief hubs are quickly overwhelmed and in adverse weather conditions, they are inadequate for providing warm, dry, hygienic, and safe environments for sheltering large numbers of people including the injured and the sick. This thesis explores how an airport may be designed for a dual purpose and the feasibility and complexity of planning and designing public space for transformation into a disaster relief station.