Home Environment This marine research building serves as an emergency shelter

This marine research building serves as an emergency shelter


People around the world remember the Great Japanese tsunami of 2011. The Marine Research Building in Gladys Valley was built to commemorate that event through its design and function. In addition to being designated a place of study, the structure is one shelter against earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. It can support up to 920 people at a time.

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Located in Newport, Oregon, where some debris was washed away by the tsunami, the Maritime Research Building in the Gladys Valley was one of the first vertical tsunami evacuations in the United States. Its unique look and tough design are achieved through advanced architectural and engineering techniques.

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Gray building with signboard reading

The building is covered in the 30,000 square feet of Gendai and Pika-Pika shipbuilding. Walls and ceilings are made exclusively of cypress wood. The exterior wood is processed using yakisugi, also known as the ban on shou sugi, a traditional process that treats wood with heat. Forestry Nakamoto has treated the actual application of this method to the partition, which is now naturally resistant to fire, rot and pests. For more than 100 years, the Nakamoto family have lived in the Yoshiwa-mura village in Hiroshima, Japan, where they have grown and sustainably harvested the trees used as construction materials around the world.

gray-black three-storey building

Thanks for the designers’ attention Reliability, marine research buildings can withstand earthquakes stronger than 9 magnitude. It can also exist after one Tsunami event XXL. The building is recoverable after a major tsunami.

the courtyard and walkway towards the gray and black building

The Marine Science Building in the Gladys Valley is three stories tall and has an above ground ramp to the roof. The entire building, including the roof, is meant to be a safe harbor where people can gather after an earthquake or other catastrophic event. The roof creates a high position away from the water and there are several evacuation paths around the building, leading people to safe gathering areas in the face of a tsunami.

A close-up of the gray and black building with a small window

The building was designed by Yost GrubeHall Architecture and built by Andersen Construction.

+ Architecture Yost GrubeHall

Photo via Nakamoto Forestry

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