Resiliency is now an essential component in architecture as extreme weather and climate events continue to wreck havoc worldwide. In response to the destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year, MAT-TER Architects unveiled plans for the storm-resistant Guiuan National High School. Located in an area hit especially hard by the 2013 storms, the elevated school will double as an emergency shelter and it will be built largely out of bamboo.
MAT-TER Architects designed the typhoon-resilient school as part of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that crowdsourced design concepts for an affected area where Typhoon Haiyan destroyed 4,500 schools. The best design solutions will be constructed by the Department of Education of the Philippines and the nonprofit Architecture for Humanity.
To design a disaster-proof building without the aesthetic of the typical concrete bunker, MAT-TER Architects drew inspiration from the local, bamboo-based vernacular architecture as well as from cellular biology. A light modular skin stretches across the school’s rounded elevated structure, which is composed of three connected circular forms. The use of locally sourced bamboo allows for ventilation and passive cooling, and the curved roof is optimized for rainwater harvesting. A series of interior courtyards and community gardens reinforce the school’s secondary use as a community center.
Images via MAT-TER Architects