One studio's response to Typhoon Haiyan for a multi-purpose, storm-resistant school in an affected area of the Philippines. Read Full Article
"Typhoon winds are unpredictable and can change direction anytime, as it was in the case of Haiyan. Realizing this affected our design decision to give our building its curved form that is aerodynamic in all directions," says designer Christin To. "Both the aerodynamic form of the roof and the internal organization of the spaces were derived from the concept of resilient geometries found in nature, such as the morphogenesis of biological cell structures and self-organizing patterns of atoms."
The Guiuan National High School, illustrated as mass shelter during a natural disaster. Says To: "The challenge was, 'How can we create a school that is inviting and resilient at the same time without looking like a bunker that would always remind people of the next possible typhoon hitting land?'"
MAT-TER chose bamboo as the primary building material, "in order to keep the carbon footprint as low as possible throughout all stages of the building's lifespan," says To. The bamboo and interior modular units resist the effects of climate change and are flexible to local repair should a disaster incur damage. These interior units support each other and the main flooring system and are also elevated aboveground on a grid of concrete pilotis "to allow wind to pass underneath and protect flooding."
"We wanted to create an open and inviting space that speaks of the local culture and provides an inspiring learning environment for children and local communities," To says.