With the rapid decline in weather and seismic conditions across the world, architects and designers have begun focusing more attention towards the development of tenements and structures that can withstand the violent forces of nature – cyclonic winds, earthquakes, floods and a fairly recent addition – tsunamis.
Dan Nelson of Design Northwest Architects might have created a solution for housing in tsunami zones with the design of what he calls – the tsunami house. Situated in Camano island, WA, the house is situated on a 3140 square foot site with the building limited to a 30′ x 30′ pad.
The main living area of the house is located 5′ above grade with foundations designed on pilings that are capable of withstanding high velocity tsunami waves. The living level having been raised, provides for a buffer that is dubbed the “flood room.”
The concept of the house revolves around letting the water flow through the house rather than creating a barrier which eventually leads to destruction. Most materials used in the house can break away and flow with the water.
The house uses clear glass doors and most of the exterior materials are durable and low maintenance. The stair case is constructed out of a steel bent plate that leads up to the main living area. The flooring is composed mainly of polished concrete with radiant in floor heat and the ceilings have western red cedar to add warmth to the house and break away from the industrial feel.
Although the house is highly functional, the spaces both, inside and outside the house are treated with care to ensure there is a perfect balance among the materials that have been used.
The Tsunami house recently won an Honor Award for design excellence from the Northwest Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects and has been posted on Contemporist and Inhabitat. Via the Smithsonian and Houzz