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Carlo Ratti Converts Shipping Containers into Intensive-Care Pods for the COVID-19 Pandemic


CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota in collaboration with an international team of experts developed CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments), plug-in Intensive-Care Pods for the COVID-19 pandemic. An open-source design for emergency hospitals, the project’s first unit is currently under construction in Milan, Italy.Converting shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Pods to fight the coronavirus, CURA, a ready-to-use solution, consists of rapidly mounted, easily movable and safe units. Thanks to biocontainment with negative pressure, the 20-foot intermodal containers are safe isolation ward, each containing all the medical equipment needed for two COVID-19 intensive-care patients, including ventilators and intravenous fluids stands. In fact, each compact pod for patients with respiratory infections can work autonomously.



On another hand, the modules can be interconnected with an inflatable structure, creating different configurations. Actually, “some pods can be placed in proximity to a hospital to expand the ICU capacity, while others could be used to create self-standing field hospitals of varying sizes”. CURA, cure in Latin, can generate an easily deployed system, that can be immediately implemented around the world, promptly responding to the shortage of ICU space in hospitals and the spread of the disease. Aiming to generate more ICUs, as the pandemic is evolving, CURA “follows the standards for COVID-19hospitals issued by the Chinese authorities, while speeding up execution”.



The project is with the support of the World Economic Forum: COVID-19 Action Platform, and Cities, Infrastructure and Urban Services Platform and its first unit, currently under construction, is sponsored by UniCredit.



Design and Innovation: CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota
Medical Engineering: Humanitas Research Hospital
Medical Consultancy: Policlinico di Milano, Alberto Riva
Master Planning, design, construction and logistics support services: Jacobs
Visual identity & graphic design: studio FM Milano
Digital media: Squint/opera
Logistics: Alex Neame of Team Rubicon UK
MEP Engineering: Ivan Pavanello of Projema
Medical Consultancy: Dr. Laurizio Lanfranco of Ospedale Cottolengo



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