Hope on Water: Floating Emergency House


Architects: SO?
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Area: 21 m2
Year: 2019
Photography: Kayhan Kaygusuz

Designated emergency assembly points in the case of an earthquake in Istanbul were announced in 2001. Since then, most of these public spaces have been built up, which raises the question of where everyone will be housed in the case of an emergency.

The idea of designing a speculative prototype for a floating emergency house came out of this fact: what if the response is not about stable land, but manageable water? Fold&Float is now floating on the Golden Horn, the area that will not be impacted by an earthquake’s tsunami. The prototype can be seen floating at the Earth School satellite at Rahmi M. Koç Museum.

Fold&Float is a foldable structure made of light steel construction, specially developed for emergency situations. Its light and foldable structure provides rapid and easy installation in the case of an emergency.

The unit is composed of two main parts: the upper structure that includes all the fixed furniture folded and implemented, and a floating pontoon made of concrete. The idea of a foldable unit which comes fully equipped is the result of research displaying that earthquake victims generally spend at least one year in temporary housing after the disaster.

Hope On Water is an education project developed for the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial as a collaboration with civil engineering and sociology students from Boğaziçi University and architecture students from MEF University. The educational project was run by Ayfer Bartu Candan, Emre Otay, Oral Goktas and Sevince Bayrak.