Lorenzo Franceschini (M.Sc.)

Chaitanya Chavan (M.Arch.)

Sulaiman Alothman (M.Arch.)

2014 – 15


Among natural disasters, earthquakes are the most difficult to deal with. The unpredictability of their occurrence and magnitude, and their short onset delay pose arduous challenges for safe evacuation and shelter in an urban setting. Evacuation to safe areas is usually undermined by the collapse of structures that are not built to meet earthquake standards. Seismic retrofitting and reconstruction, therefore, become high-possibility solutions; however, time and cost factors made them unaffordable in some countries. Istanbul, a city expecting a devastating earthquake, is estimated to suffer from the highest amount of damage, both in terms of casualties and economic losses. Its unpreparedness in a highly dense urban fabric occupied with structurally unstable buildings constitutes a great danger to people’s lives.

QUAKE RESPONSE develops a novel seismic-resistant construction system with the objective of providing innocuous evacuation of people to a safe zone in an urban scenario, in the event of an earthquake. The design deals with developing a material system of topologically interlocking, mortar-less bricks for the city of Istanbul, which is expected to be struck by an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude in the near future. The aim of this dissertation is to propose and prove the viability of such a solution, within the existing urban fabric of the city.