Architects Build Emergency Quarantine Facilities For COVID-19 Patients
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for local hospitals. Beds have filled up, protective gear has become scarce, and health workers and frontliners have fallen ill.
With the severity of the situation, a group of architects decided to act fast and take matters into their own hands by building Emergency Quarantine Facilities (EQFacility) in the form of an architecturally designed tent. Designed by WTA Design Studio, the EQFacility will provide a space for patients in a total of 15 sites such as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), Lung Center of the Philippines, Chinese General Hospital, and more.
"This facility came out of a friendly discussion with Dr. Glenn Angeles and our group of friends. We were talking about why the virus spreads and the plight of sick people being sent home in growing numbers and the danger they pose to their immediate friends and family," says architect William Ti, Jr. of WTA Design Studio.
From a topic of conversation, the issue turned into an idea for a quarantine facility. Architect William Ti, Jr. of WTA Design Studio remembered a pavilion he put up last February in Intramuros and saw its potential as a quarantine facility. He was put in touch with Major Carmelo Jaluague and Major Banjo Torres Badayos and together they created a plan of action.
Each EQFacility measures six by 26 meters and will have 15 beds and two toilets. There will be different entrances for patients and health workers, while doctors will have an external testing box to check patients—eliminating the need to go inside. The facility has also been designed so that air flows one way to prevent recirculation.
Work has already gotten underway. It only takes three days of construction, a day of finishing, and another day for interiors and on-boarding to finish one EQFacility. "Currently, we're about to finish the first one at the Manila Naval Hospital. We’ve also started work at the two facilities in RITM, V. Luna Hospital, and Villamor Airbase. We will be starting in a day at Chinese General Hospital, Quezon City General Hospital, and Army Hospital," says Ti.
The group has accomplished much in just a matter of days. Even so, there's still a lot of work to be done. According to Ti, while they've successfully found funding for the first batch of hospitals, there's another batch that still needs additional funding. Ti hopes the EQFacility can be rolled out not just throughout the city, but also nationwide.
Along with funding, the group needs more volunteers, machines, and materials. Luckily, Kuysen, an importer and distributor of architectural brands has provided toilets, sinks, faucets to Philippine Army Hospital’s Emergency Quarantine Facility.
"Right now, we need volunteer site architects or engineers so we can increase our capacity. We need industrial fans and exhaust fans for the facilities. We also need much much more of our main material which is wood," he says.