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Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez, Casa Techo, emergency shelter, Bogotá, 2016

Casa Techo

Being Colombia a country with some of the highest internal migration, Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez created an emergency shelter that functions both as a roof and a house.



Colombian architect Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez conceived an emergency shelter for a user living in an unstable context. Being Colombia a country where people have encountered the need to change their place to live for different reasons – from 1997 to December 2013, 5.185.406 people have officially been registered as internally displaced, with a high impact on afro colombian and indigenous population – Casa Techo offers solid, weather-proof walls that function both as a roof.


Being the roof the most laborious part of the construction process, Casa Techo delivers an efficient answer to the basic needs of a living space, optimizing the constructive process and saving at least half of materials and workforce usually needed. It deals with diverse weather conditions and topographies, offering a safe and comfortable place to inhabit. The structure had to be transportable, light, fast and easy to assembly, comfortable at any season or altitude, ventilated and safe. Casa Techo has separate functional spaces with good thermic isolation. In the first level, the translucent panel hosts a kitchen and dining space and works as a sort of greenhouse: it enhances natural cross ventilation generating mild heat to the second level where the bedchamber is.

Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez, Casa Techo, emergency shelter, Bogotá, 2016

Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez, Casa Techo, emergency shelter, Bogotá, 2016

The structure is composed by standard identical panels, pre-built, repeatable and light to carry, made with oriented strand board (OSB), sawn timber strips, and polycarbonate panels. The summed four panels forms a space that is 10 sqm large. Additionally, the materials can be easily changed for local ones such as thatch or cane.

Casa Techo
, Bogotá, Colombia
Program: emergency shelter
Architect: Sebastian Contreras Rodriguez
Collaborators: Juan Calzado, David Gómez, Santiago Bonne, Karolina Rosas
Area: 10 sqm
Completion: 2016