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On the shores of Gatun Lake, overlooking the Panama Canal, is located the proposed set of emergency housing "Entretejido Urbano", intended for the temporary shelter of 277 families who require a housing solution in the event of an accident.


In Panama we have a huge availability of maritime containers to be reused. The containers are rectangular metal modules designed to support tons of weight and the worst weather conditions, they can be stacked, they cost relatively little and require simple foundations since they already have their own structural system, and they can be transported without problem by land or sea. The reuse of containers for residential use and wooden pallets for use in windows and other finishes are part of a basic, economic and sustainable materiality with which it seeks to offer dignity and safety to the inhabitants of the project.

Taking into account the advantages of containers as an alternative for bio-climatic architectural design, the passive conditioning of the facades is implemented within the project by means of movable vertical openings, thus allowing cross ventilation and protection from the rain. The project also includes the collection of rainwater. Inside, each module is covered with 500 mm cork on walls and floors, which results in a very effective thermal and acoustic insulation.

Easily accessible by land, by sea, and close to a train station, the chosen terrain has vast surrounding vegetation. In it, a composition inspired by the ancient cities of the Middle East is projected. Organizing modules of 20 'and 40' marine containers superimposed and out of phase with each other, generating an interweaving of housing with public and private spaces around a central patio where communal spaces are generated.

In the central courtyard, very marked horizontal circulations are generated throughout the housing modules and are integrated with each other through green spaces and water channels. On the second level, circulation results from the offset of the lower containers in relation to the upper ones.

This project participated in the IX José Miguel Aroztegui Biennial in São Paulo, Brazil, where it was awarded an Honorable Mention. The project was developed by architecture students María Alejandra Icaza and Anagabriel Quiroga, who were in their third year of studies. Advised by the Colombian Professor and Architect, Sergio Trujillo, who with his work experience and various awards in international architecture competitions, provided his knowledge to the university students.

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