MAT-TER Designs Storm-Resistant School for the Philippines

Major natural disasters caused by climate change are becoming an unfortunate certainty worldwide. Prevention of these events is something that no single architect can accomplish, but preparation for them can be. To that end, MAT-TER architects has proposed a new design for  National High School in the Philippines, an area hit especially hard by last year’s Typhoon Haiyan. The design is a singular, compact structure designed to better withstand the forces of major storms, doubling as both a school and a community emergency shelter.

Constructed largely out of local bamboo, the building will be raised above the ground on a structural grid of concrete pilotis.  This will allow for passive cooling, as well as protection from flood waters. The floor plan itself will rely on the bamboo modules of classrooms, offices, courtyards and other spaces of varying scale to create a durable structure. As the architects state: “We believe the aggregation of simple interconnected systems will create a more resilient architecture and provide a better sense of unity for a learning environment.”

All structural systems in the building will be clad in a lightweight skin. Most of these systems support the roof, a single fluid form designed to be as aerodynamic as possible to avoid damage from violent winds. It is punctured only by the courtyards housed centrally within the structure.

Project Name: Guiuan National High School
Architects: MAT-TER
Location: Guiuan, Philippines
Architects In Charge: Christin To, Hugo Martinez
Social And Feasibility Research/Development: Charles Dhinakaran, Javi Muriel Santurino
Year: 2014
Photographs: MAT-TER

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