After observing the city of Abu Dhabi’s arisen urban vulnerabilities caused by the emerged Covid-19, the (EUHU) project comes as a responsive intervention. The title stands for Emergency Urban Healing Units, an experimental design toolkit project, that mainly focuses on providing public healing services to neighborhoods, by placing 7 distinctive typologies of healing units, based on human needs. Prototypes of all categories are expected to make urban populations feel better, stimulate their senses, and improve their wellbeing at emergency times and in correspondence to site type.
The developed scheme of the proposal covers the experimentation of placing one selected typology: the medical, as medical care facilities come as a priority to the emergency category, in one selected residential neighborhood. The placement of units follows two benchmarks: Abu Dhabi Future Master Plan 2030 and Governmental & Local Authorities Distribution. Suggested typologies opt to make urban populations feel better, stimulate their senses, and improve their wellbeing at pandemic times. This envisions healed neighborhoods initially, and a healed city eventually.
As for site selection, the selected neighborhood sits at the center of Abu Dhabi, Manhal, Delma Street, marked as accessible for everyone and base location for later successive imaginative healing networks, spreading all over the city. Further, the location of the medical unit has accessibility from the main street, which makes it remarkable and seen along the whole highway street and the opposing neighborhoods. It is well served with parking areas from 3 sides, and a plaza on the 4th, that is mutual with the building next to it.
The program is distributed among the 4 floors of the project. The ground floor has 4 entrances: Emergency Entrance, Outpatient Entrance, Staff Entrance, and Service Entrance. The Emergency entrance is followed by a triage area, where several observation areas are located. Medical facilities rooms like sub-dirty utility, doffing, donning, sterilization room, and nurse station are closely placed. The first-floor plan includes an Intensive care unit, canteen, visitors lounge, and laboratory. The second-floor plan includes maternity rooms, incubators, and a children's care area. Third & Fourth floors plans include quarantine rooms with different typologies: single & sharing. Consultation rooms & emotional healing areas extend vertically from the ground to the fifth floor.
The design of the proposed project integrates the new norms assigned by Covid-19. For instance, corridors and interior rooms maintain the needed areas for social distancing. Entrances are separated from exits and segregated according to user type, which controls circulation and lowers unnecessary interactions and undesired infection possibilities. Thermal scanners, disinfection channels, and temporary isolation rooms are set close to entrances for sanitization measures. The building envelope controls virus spread together with the application of ventilation systems and filtration strategies such as purifiers, UVGI, and HEPA, in interior spaces.
Overall, the aim is to make the city resilient, after Covid-19, by restructuring the fabric of the city and using adequate architectural language for the nature of the emergency.
The project explores using modular prefabricated sandwiched panels in the applied context to maintain major highlights: Constructability, Temporality, Flexibility & Extendibility.
As for structure & assembly, the prefabricated panels sit horizontally, as a slab, and vertically, as a wall, supported by both primary and secondary framework structures.
Mentor: Dr.Nadia Mounajjed
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