tacloban city, philippines – a trio facilities represent a collaborative community effort to designed and build a study center, office and orphanage after super typhoon haiyan. eriksson furunes architects, locsin and boase, together with the community developed the design through a series of participatory workshops using drawing, poetry, model making, mapping, and physical prototyping.
all images courtesy of eriksson furunes
in november 2013, in one of the strongest ever recorded, super-typhoon haiyan devastated the city of tacloban, leyte in the souther region of the philippines. as a result a locally based NGO called streetlight, supporting street children and neighbouring communities, has their orphanage and rehabilitation center at the seafront destroyed. in the aftermath of haiyan, streetlight decided to rebuild their facilities inland, 16 km north of their previous site to provide much needed safety for the children and the community.
in a bid to restore these facilities, eriksson furunes – in close collaboration with sudarshan khadka of leandro v. locsin partners, and engineer jago boase – contribute to the post-disaster reconstruction efforts, an example of how architects can assist in way that is critical in forming a strong sense of ownership of the project within the community. through the design process, the spatial concepts helped them articulate a desire for openness and connection to nature whilst providing safety and security during a similar disaster. in some way, the designed process helped them deal with and respond to the psychological trauma of haiyan.
a series of workshops were organized with the community to conceptualize the design of ‘streetlight tagpuro’, determining their functions and programme, as well as to identify locally available materials and construction techniques. the study center has music rooms, library, bathrooms, kitchen and teachers’ rooms in the heavy volumes, and classrooms with areas for singing, dancing and theatre in the spaces in-between.
dual concepts of ‘open vs. closed’ and ‘light vs. heavy’ relate to the use of ventilated light timber frames set against heavy reinforced concrete volumes. the timber frames allow air to flow through the spaces while the concrete volumes provide refuge during typhoons. timber slatted doors and windows are designed and built by the fathers of the children in the program. by helping them design their space, the project becomes a contextual expression of a local identity that the community can find their own meaning in.
the architecture explores the values of honest materiality, craftsmanship, expressive tectonics, and vernacular sensitivity. through the deliberate selection of materials and construction methods based on their potential for adaptation by local workers, the construction process serves as a mode of capacity building and livelihood training. finally, through a participatory and community-based design process that affords a framework for local expression, the project becomes opportunity not only to build architecture, but also to build a representation of shared values and shared meanings.
architecture in the philippines (8 articles)
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