Hao Wu’s Portfolio

Program is an Algorithm

Agent-based Simulation in Architectural Design
Tracing COVID in Built Environment
COVID Recovery Resort
Phone Food

Reconfigurable Street

Augment Urban Mobility with Robotic Technology
Uber Space
Robot Crossing


Documentary of Suzhou Immigrants
Film: Edge Town



Realized Project
Hall of Immortality at Longshan Cemetery
OCT Contemporary Art Museum

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COVID Recovery Resort

Supervisor: Greg Lynn

COVID, Natural Ventilation, Agent-based Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Robot Dynamism, Unity3D


COVID, a spatially transmitted disease, poses a significant threat to public health and gives rise to various social problems. Instead of implementing citywide lockdowns, an effective strategy for tackling the pandemic involves precise prevention and control measures, such as quarantining patients in dedicated facilities where they can receive treatment and proper living arrangements. This approach has proven its efficacy, suggesting that addressing the pandemic requires more than just vaccines; architecture plays a crucial role as well. 

The project aims to transform the conventional, dark, and inaccessible plenum spaces within medical buildings into bright, transparent, and interactive environments using robotic technology.

Delivery robots navigate through the plenum, efficiently transporting food, equipment, and furniture to patients, eliminating the need for tired COVID patients to move to different rooms. Moreover, the plenum serves as a showcase that uplifts and engages COVID patients, fostering connections with like-minded individuals.


The project uses agent-based simulation to study the movement patterns of people in a previous sanatorium facility and designs a new typology based on the findings.

Conventional sanatoriums, such as Hoffmann’s Purkersdorf and Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium, have architectural programs based on area and adjacency, using circulation to connect different functional rooms. However, the COVID quarantine facility in 2020 presents an alternative approach. An agent-based simulation reveals three unique points:

  1. Patients are clustered into phases. The 14-day quarantine journey is divided into sections based on the frequency of care required from doctors. Patients travel from Phase 1 to Phase 3 and then leave the building.
  2. Instead of patients walking to different function rooms, robots deliver food and amenities to people.
  3. The COVID facility, on the other hand, serves as a social condenser, bringing different people together. Patients find friends, and merchants discover new opportunities.

Thus, the new COVID facility should learn from these three aspects and enhance them architecturally.

General Organization

The building is located in Shanghai, China, near the Yangtze River bank, as part of an extension of the Shanghai Yixian Sanatorium.

Phase 1-3 Simulation

Phase 1

The building program is scripted to the agents' behavior, letting their movement patterns define the building.

In Phase 1, during the first three days, people simply move to their individual rooms, as seen with the red agents. They have just contracted COVID, are experiencing fever, and prefer not to move. Subsequently, robots deliver food and equipment to them.
Phase 2

In Phase 2, people can begin walking and engaging in activities. They pick up items associated with their activities and ask robots to deliver them to specific positions. The static movement patterns of people define spaces like cafes and restaurants, slow movements define fluid cozy spaces such as the library and gallery, and fast movement defines circulation and gym spaces. Areas where agents don't go define voids on the floor and apparatuses, allowing them to observe robot travel and other people's activities.
Phase 3

In the final days, people start moving in social clusters based on the new friends they made in Phase 2. Small social clusters define individual rooms such as co-working offices and chess rooms. Medium social clusters define
workshops, outdoor areas, and meeting rooms. Large social clusters define cinema and gym spaces

Spatial Experience

The movement of robots is showcased as a vitrine to patients. When patients see a robot delivering a football game table to a room, they know there's a group of people playing it, and they can join them. This vitrine effect can bring people together and promote social interaction. Apparatuses on the floor allow them to observe the variety of activities that different people are engaged in.