So_Hab: Emergency Housing Solutions [From immediate response to long-term recovery] 

… Is a participatory process in which different members of the community were able to present their needs in their homes”. – David Rodríguez Sánchez, 2018.

Designer: David Rodríguez Sánchez
Location: Puerto  Rico
Completion Date: May 2018
TOS [er]: Alondra N. Ruttell Díaz
Posted: May 2022

About So_Hab:

So_Hab explores new solutions for the participatory design of a massive building of houses capable of responding to the particular needs of each inhabitant. There are different ways in which spaces can be organized depending on the individual, but in this case, the designer provides us with a solution with general and functional aspects in this space.

[Keywords: Emergency, Housing, Program, Space, Accessibility]


  • The scarcity of economic resources that a good part of our population exhibits and the lack of affordable housing alternatives in the formal real estate market, are some of the reasons that drive individuals, families, and communities to self-create the construction of their homes not always in the safest way, making them extremely vulnerable to the risk that Hurricane María produced. 
  • Self-construction as one of the most effective ways to deal with homelessness.
  • Inhabitants of the most affected homes lack the resources to respond effectively but possess knowledge and constructive ability to respond to their precarious environment.


The project evolves around a participatory process in which different members of the community were able to present their needs in their homes.

Design Strategies:

The design proposal gathers livable areas or shared retreats in 4 volumes, each function responds to a fundamental need: eating, entertainment, cleaning and sleeping. It pushes the program to the corners so that the same space acquires the ability to satisfy multiple performances throughout the day.

Project Program: 

  • Singular Space as the center of the space (dining and living space
  • Contained Program (fold-out bed, sliding doors, hidden kitchen)
  • Covering (roof and windows)

TOS [er] Reaction: 

So_Hab recognizes the need to move to self-construction architecture, not only to respond to tropical natural disasters, but is also aware of the socioeconomic variables, like the ones hurricanes or tropical storms can bring. The designer also proposes the use of accessible materials for the average citizen, and this can evolve commercial building to a more accessible and secure emergency housing.