A look at some of the COVID-19 facilities overseas

April 14, 2021



Shan Arcega

Existing or not, these are some great ideas for mobile COVID-19 facilities.

The ability to evolve and adapt within a snap of a finger is of the utmost importance these days. Aside from the striking presence of COVID-19 and its still mutating state, the increasing state of global warming may give rise to the revival of old pathogens. As of now, healthcare architects have been actively crafting new facility designs to keep up with COVID-19 and the onslaught of patients that require better facilities to help them heal. Overseas, architects have conceived various simple and mobile structures that can be assembled quickly and efficiently. These range from personal protective bubble spaces for doctors, shipping containers to use as facilities for patients, and even container ships where patients can temporarily stay during treatments.

READ MORE: Design in the time of Covid

The Mobile PPS (Personal Protective Space) for doctors

This invention is, simply enough, a protective bubble for doctors. Designed by German art group Plastique Fantastique which specializes in crafting unique urban environments, the Mobile PPS is a transparent, protective space that protects doctors through the plastic barrier and a constant overpressure of airflow that only flows outwards from the space, making sure that the virus will not enter. This clean air is supplied by ventilators just outside the bubble or in an extra decontaminated space. 

On a wider scale, the Mobile PPS has three areas. the air lock space where doctors undergo the usual disinfection procedure, the extension of care units where doctors treat patients (this space has the medical machines inside the bubble and attached arm gloves on the surface), and the relax area where doctors can rest.

READ MORE: Personalization and Balance in Design: Ghibli Edition

Jupe Health’s Mobile Recovery Units

Designed by start-up company Jupe Health especially for rural and remote zones, these mobile recovery units can be set up anywhere and has three variations: Jupe Rest which is a climate-controlled self-isolation resting area for the doctors, Jupe Care which serves as the off-grid recovery unit for non-critical COVID-19 patients, and Jupe Plus-the world’s first stand-alone micro-grid capable intensive care unit reserved for the severest cases. 

READ MORE: Vanessa Gaston: Design is Storytelling, Storytelling is Design.

Hospital Ships

Weston Williamson + Partners also made a suggestion of hospital ships where each vessel would have 3,500 container modules. A simple alternative to the usual hospital beds, patients would only stay on the ship in case there are no other areas available to deploy the containers. These containers were adapted by removing one of the steel doors and replacing it with perspex panels. These panels also allow for natural ventilation and a built-in air-conditioning unit.

Innovation has always been a key element for ensuring the continuity of a civilization. These are just some of the few notable designs specially crafted for handling COVID-19 patients overseas. Some have already been implemented while some still sit as conceptualized ideas waiting to be used. With these new types of facilities, other architects may also take inspiration from these to design better facilities that can better handle COVID-19 in our own country. 

READ MORE: The Adaptation Of Healthcare Facilities Amid The COVID-19 Crisis

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