On November 15th 2013, a M7.1 earthquake hit the Philippines. Not even one month later, the Philippines experienced another natural catastrophe, Typhoon Haiyan. The combined devastation brought by the earthquake and typhoon affected the lives of 100 million people, 35 million of whom lost their homes. It was in this context that NCS, along with Fuji Women's University Vice President Riichi Miyake and students from University of San Carlos, Philippines worked together to support the victims of the double disaster through the repair and construction of schools and/or churches.
Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines islands of Samal, Leyte, and Cebu particularly hard. A combined death and missing toll of 7,900 people was recorded and 35 million people were forced from their homes. Of these 35 million, 2 million entered emergency relief housing while the remaining 33 million citizens took shelter along roadsides, in structural unsound buildings, and small make-shift shacks.
The three organizations behind this project, NCS, Fuji Women's University, and the University of San Carlos have established these three goals:
1. Improvement of the living environment for temporary housing (Daanbantayan City, Cebu Island)
2.Reconstruction of local schools (Tacloban City, Leyte Island)
3. Repair and reconstruction of religious buildings (Loboc City, Bohol Island)
While our partner organizations had been working to build more temporary housing, we were moving towards building church and school. We hoped that they served double functions; firstly as spaces for religious and educational exploration, respectively, and secondly, as community gathering spaces. Additionally, by meeting with community members to tailor our designs to their environmental and cultural needs and using locally available materials, we hoped to have a positive impact on the local environment and atmosphere for learning through infrastructural improvements. The design process would also engage local experts, as we exchanged our methods and their techniques, increasing employment opportunities in the area. Lastly, we looked to lead workshops for local residents, volunteers, and students to complete the actual construction of the schools and/or church.
The three phases of investigation/survey, design, and construction frame our plans for the project.
Our initial survey of the surrounding area was completed from January 26th-29th of 2014. Our first task as part of the survey was to research local materials and resources. We assessed their potential usage in building the school and/or church by consulting local citizens. While there, we were also able to meet and strengthen our bond with our partner organization, the University of San Carlos who would be continuing the investigation into local environmental conditions and the extent of damage caused by the earthquake and typhoon.
Depending on the materials we find suitable for the project, we hoped to design the buildings to entail simple construction methods. This would allow residents and volunteers with little building experience to contribute to construction, keeping costs at a minimum when paired with the use of locally available materials.
|Volunteers and Workshop - Construction|
The devastation felt by the victims in the Philippines, we believed, was similar to the sense of loss experienced by those in the Tohoku region of Japan when the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck in 2011. Our involvement in reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region had highlighted the need for community gathering spaces, especially after a disaster. Among the many buildings destroyed on Leyte and Bohol Islands, we hoped to repair and reconstruct schools and churches because of their significance as community spaces. We believed that construction workshops would not only make possible the cost-effective construction of schools and churches for local residents, but that building together would also spawn new ties in the town. The more citizens were involved, the more impactful we envisioned this project to be, not only on the built environment, but also on the learning environment and relationships within the community.
Yasuhiro Yamashita / N･C･S, Atelier tekuto
Riichi Miyake /Keio University
University of San Carlos