Carlo Ratti Associati, 2013
Research Lead & Designer

The entire coastline of American Samoa is vulnerable in the event of a Tsunami. The effect on buildings can be extremely destructive and difficult to anticipate and control.

In response to the 2009 South Pacific Tsunami, the government of American Samoa asked us to develop guidelines for a flood resilient home.

By studying the nature of a tsunami and its potential hazards, we developed solutions to integrate into traditional building design. Local architecture and lifestyle, together with the island's unique morphology, acted as a starting point for the development of a series of innovative construction guidelines. A workshop was held with members of the local government, construction industry, and community to bring stakeholders into the conversation.

The proposed methodology, in the format of a 100-page illustrated document, improved overall village safety while maintaining the existing quality and way of life.

Team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Newsha Ghaeli, Andrea Cassi