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The Pasig River, like many rivers of civilisations past, played an important role in the establishment of Manila centuries ago. Today, it is still a symbol of life-source for the many informal settlers living along the river albeit in stark contrast to such a notion: in shanties defined by found objects and precariousness of construction.
Narrowing in on Isla de Provisor, this low-rise project inspired by the winding flow of the Pasig River itself is aimed at providing an alternative means of housing that once again carry forth the idea that people are drawn to this fount of life precisely because it inspires it in both the literal and figurative sense.
Sustainable in its generous use of Iron bamboo for construction—a species endemic to the Philippines thus adding value by way of net-zero emissions—that has been one of the main building materials in Filipino vernacular housing, the proposal also champions urban farming that is but consistent with such sustainability efforts that ultimately aims in addressing the climate crisis we are faced with. With the farm occupying the top-most floors of each cluster (that ranges from three to five storeys high), the ground floor provides ample space for communal activities where residents feel a sense of belongingness and safety. Here, homeowners can barter for products that they took pride in growing or handicrafts that continue with age-old traditions (not to mention inherently sustainable as long-standing indigenous practices) of Filipinos such as basket and fabric weaving—with hopes that in this way, these ways of making are ensured of posterity.
Here is a simple convergence of what has passed and the future: in that the aims revitalising a once magnificent site, the project becomes a forward-looking proposition in its projection of the relevance of practices and traditions that defined its peoples.
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