In recent years, Gizmag has reported on several architectural projects which aim to aid those living in areas prone to natural disaster, including the Bamboo Lakou community and Blooming Bamboo home. Californian studio MAT-TER is the latest firm to throw its hat in the ring, with a modular, passively-cooled, and typhoon-resistant school that's due to be constructed in the Philippines later this year.
The project was conceived during a competition to create a new Guiuan National High School following its destruction last year at the hands of Typhoon Haiyan – a disaster which sadly also destroyed over 4,500 other schools in the area.
MAT-TER will use local bamboo as the primary building material for its school, and the floors, walls, and furniture are all made from bamboo. During construction, the firm will also plant significant numbers of bamboo around the plot, in order to provide a resource for future maintenance and repair, and act as a wind screen to shelter the school.
MAT-TER's renders depict a futuristic, aerodynamic structure, and the company states that thanks to its modular construction, the school could be scaled-up to suit the number of pupils it will serve. Furthermore, the interior is also modular and comprises easily-installed separate units, including a classroom module, library module, office module, and so forth. The design allows for several inner courtyards.
Though bamboo is a pretty tough material in itself, MAT-TER will add fiber-reinforced concrete roof panels (which can be individually removed and replaced), a protective coating for the bamboo, steel anchors, and concrete footings to anchor the whole building.
The school will be raised on large concrete piloti (or stilts), which protect against flooding and allow passive underfloor cooling and increased ventilation. The facade features operable louvres (ventilation screens) which help increase circulation inside, and a roof-based rainwater harvesting system.
Once complete, MAT-TER hopes its school will become a practical prototype for more schools in similarly storm-prone areas, and that it will simultaneously serve as a community center and mass shelter should another natural disaster strike.