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Earthquakes and Architecture

Earthquakes and Architecture

The recent tragedy in Haitialready had architects, engineers and other industry professionals askingquestions about how to rebuild...in a way that would head off such calamitiesin the future.  Now, the quake in Chile offers the opportunity tocompare and contrast.  How could an earthquake FAR more powerful than theone in Haitihave done so much less damage?  Here are a few collected thoughts fromaround the world.

First, Haiti. In thisarticle from The Seattle Times,the Haitian ambassador to the United States says that “what was not politicallypossible was done by the earthquake.”  Willthe Haitian government and international community get past the country’soverwhelming poverty and governance issues that have been a way of life?  Will natural disaster allow a clean slate andbuilding renaissance ala Chicago post-fire and San Francisco post-quake?

Architect Sebastian Gray has a first-handaccount of the Chilequake in The New York Times. Furnitureand belongings tossed about but not a single crack in his 1950’s built home.

Time magazine explains why that is so.  Will a natural disaster and human tragedylead to change…both political and architectural?

Regardless, please support our neighbors in need.   AIAand Architecturefor Humanity have relief efforts underway.

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