‘ponya’ is a modular emergency operations center for communities in sub-Saharan Africa

TU delft students, francisca hamilton, nathan ngo and thanat prathnadi, present ‘pony’, a modular emergency operations center for disaster-stricken communities in sub-saharan africa. the system has been designed to maximize its potential use in a multitude of emergency scenarios ranging from natural disasters to social conflicts. based on a triangular geometry, the form becomes highly adaptable according to the site, the scale and the temporality of the scenario.

aerial view
all images courtesy of fransisca hamilton, nathan ong and thanat prathnadi

human-centered approach ‘pony’ through hamilton, NGO and prathnadi, begins with the singular module scale, large enough to house a family of six, but low enough to encourage a sense of refuge. For the construction of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the modules can be connected in all three axes depending on the capacity and program required. internally, the division of spaces is created using ePTFE tarpaulins and curtains, allowing programmatic flexibility based on the progress of a scenario.

'ponya' is a modular emergency operations center for communities in sub-Saharan Africa
outside view

based on the structural integrity of a pyramid, the aesthetic is found in the flexibility and simplicity of a singular module. this is expressed in the composition of three primary materials: blue plastic water barrels as a foundation, vulgaris bamboo as a structure and 3D printed PETG members as carpentry. the intention behind the selection of locally sourced materials, and the overall simplicity of the project, is to ensure that this system can be efficiently assembled, disassembled and reassembled without the use of power tools or machinery. inside, the triangular structure offers possibilities for raised shelves and secure storage while the floor with its tensioned slatted structure can be rolled up in order to access the barrels below. when the EOC is in response to a flood, the barrels can be emptied and sealed, allowing the structure to float and keep the interior dry.

'ponya' is a modular emergency operations center for communities in sub-Saharan Africa
inside view

in ‘pony’, on-site construction includes the assembly of all prefabricated components. To reduce manufacturing costs and simplify the process, a maximum of fourteen types of components are needed to erect an EOC of any scale and shape. most notably, all bamboo elements are the same length and the six different joinery elements are color coded according to their location. the EOC would rely solely on passive cooling, heating and ventilation through the manipulation of openings, double-height spaces and overhangs. circularity occurs at the level of the system and that of its components and materials.

'ponya' is a modular emergency operations center for communities in sub-Saharan Africa
community affected by flooding

‘pony’ as a system was designed with a temporal and adaptable purpose. By investing in PETG filament printing, joinery components can withstand harsh conditions without warping or eroding in gripping areas. the use of ePTFE tarpaulins as a durable heat resistant and hydrophobic fabric can be used repeatedly despite varying conditions between sites. Additionally, locally sourced bamboo vulgaris and caissadra wood for flooring fuel local economies and reduce the project’s net carbon footprint.

ponya is a modular system for communities affected by the pandemic in sub-saharan africa 5
plan

ponya is a modular system for communities affected by the pandemic in sub-saharan africa 6
scenarios

ponya is a modular system for communities affected by the pandemic in sub-saharan africa 7
Construction process

project info:

Name: ‘pony’
architects: francisca hamilton, nathan ong, thanat prathnadi

designboom received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘, where we invite our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | design boom


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