Architects in Manila: Use our open source designs to build emergency field hospitals

In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, hospitals across the globe are running out of beds and facilities. In order to increase health care capacity, Arvin Pangilinan and a group of fellow architects from Manila, The Philippines, have made designs open source for emergency facilities which can be built out of basic materials in a short period of time. Arvin shares the story behind this inspiring project.


The metropolitan region of Manila has always been suffering from heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Under the Coronavirus, it is a spectacular but unsettling view to see that streets can finally breathe and have a break from this congestion. 


However, I haven't had much time to think too long about that. In many communities around the globe, hospitals are confronted with the limits of their capacity due to the outbreak of Covid-19. As an architecture studio, we therefore decided to reach out to as many public hospitals as possible and help communities with their needs.

Photo by Arvin Pangilinan


The idea of the Emergency Quarantine Facility, or EQF, was initiated by our Principal Architect, William Ti Jr. from WTA Architecture and Design Studio. For the Anthology Festival 2020, which was recently organised, we designed the Boysen x WTA Pavilion. A pavilion that was meant to be built from recycled materials, such as PE sheets as walls and roof, pallets for the slab, wood for framing, plywood for flooring. It was designed in such a way that it can be built in a short period of time.


As this pandemic confronts us with a lack of time and resources, we realised emergency field hospitals could follow the same principle as this pavilion. The EQFs are designed to be built in a short period of time, require basic materials and tools, and are easy to replicate by local communities. We've decided to publish and share the plans and designs online for public use. Everyone can start on building an emergency facility for their own communities.


The Emergency Quarantine Facility. All photos by Arvin Pangilinan


As a result of the collective effort from our friends, local companies and volunteers, we've seen more than 60 facilities realised across the Metropolitan Region of Manila and surrounding areas. We hope that these EQFs can help to relieve the pressure on our health care and contribute in our fight against Covid-19.


All the designs are open source, available for anyone to download. It is our fervent hope that more communities will use our designs and support us in our mission to build more emergency facilities in a more efficient way.


This story was shared by Arvin Pangilinan, an architect at WTA Architecture and Design Studio in Manila, The Philippines. Find more information about his project here.


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