while practicing architecture for nearly two years in rural philippines, scandinavian design studio native narrative designed a series of after-school facilities. the children’s learning center in the village of danhug is the third completed. working in close collaboration with local ngos and the local government, the studio developed the after-school facility to be technically undemanding and constructed with local materials for simple assembly. the studio has developed the project in response to the philippines’ newly approved ‘children’s emergency relief protection act,’ which increases the accountability of local and national agencies to protect children through the construction of child-friendly spaces.

native narrative danhug
all images by jakob gate of native narrative



the native narrative project functions as an after-school facility during weekdays and weekends, as well as a safe meeting spot for children in emergency. as the philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world based on the world risk index, the country is highly vulnerable to typhoons, earthquakes and floods. the structure, made of reinforced concrete with hollow block walls and a lightweight metal roof, comprises a symmetric column layout that enhances the building’s resiliency to these natural disasters. all furniture is made of plywood by local carpenters while the bespoke woven seating-covers is made of pandan, a grass grown, dried, dyed and woven by a local collective of weavers.

native narrative danhug


jakob gate, architect at native narrative comments:it has been important for us to create something that made sense in the local context both practically and in terms of character. the building is a collection of borrowed components from the predominant architectural language in the locality, although does not resemble any one particular building. the minimal colour pallet is reducing the environment to a backdrop where children, books and toys are standing out.’

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project info:


project title: children’s learning center, danhug village

architect: native narrative

lead architects: jakob gate, native narrative

location: village danhug, island of leyte, philippines

completion year: 2018

photography: jakob gate