Breath Apart: Directing Airflow for Safe, Uninhibited Indoor Dining


Name: Omar Addasi 

Nationality: American

Institution / Company: N/A


Name: Deirdre Nolan

Nationality: American 

Institution / Company: City College of New York


Name: Steven Zapata

Nationality: American 

Institution / Company: N/A


-FINALIST of HEALING Competition


The tendency of airborne transmission of COVID-19 through direct droplets and aerosolized particles has given rise to an increased awareness of airflow in interior locations. Controlling airflow rate, direction, and relative humidity all play a role in minimizing the spread of disease.

In New York City, restaurants have extended their seating into sidewalks, streets, and bus lanes, reclaiming street space with open-air dining, allowing natural circulation of air to provide cleansing effects. As we head into winter, customers will be unable to sit outside, and unfortunately, reduced-capacity indoor dining creates an unsustainable economic environment.

We are proposing a modular, adaptable solution to the increased need for spaces with guided airflow. Imagine this: in the height of a pandemic, you can dine safely with your friends in an enclosed, heated space, uninhibited by physical barriers, with reduced risk of cross-contamination. Each household uses separate entrances that situate them on either side of a dining table with an exhaust that effectively divides the air circulation within each unit in two.

These modular buildings and HVAC systems are adaptable for many uses, including but not limited to medical consultations, psychiatric sessions, and nursing home visitations. They are flat-packable, allowing for easy storage and deployment in crisis zones. Chains of structures can be assembled by small teams, with an entire city block’s worth operating on a single air handling unit and generator.


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