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Barangai=Brangay + I

Design Resilience in Asia, Urban Design

Valenzuela, Phillipines

2016 March-June

2018 IFLA APPME Honorable Mention under 

Flood and Water Management Category

Team Lead:Danyu Zeng

Team Member:Shiqi Chen, Jieqiang Chen,

Jian Huang, Ruinian Zhang

Barangay, a Filipino word referring to local community, mostly infiltrated by the Bayanihan spirit that shows the willingness to offer help to others without expecting anything in return and it is symbolized by moving the entire house before floods. This community spirit is also reflected on communal farming and building construction.

The project aims to design resilience for Filipino communities in floods. It adopts the social pattern to urban and architectural design as a from-bottom-up intervention. While the urban design includes the whole process lead by community force to build community centers and gardens for each block, allowing the self-resilience within a unit, the architectural design focuses on the underprivileged families living in vulnerable huts that are most susceptible to floods. Not until one community unit completely gets improved and perfected, a new unit is implemented and starts its circle.

As a strategy of urban renewal, the design of the resilient circle will gradually change the urban fabric, starting from one fleck, and subsequently spreading out into clusters.


The site situated along Polo River, the rural area of Valenzuela City, the Philippines. Valenzuela is a flood prone city which is below sea level and practically also along the coastal area. The area susceptible to frequent typhoons (about 6 times per year) and intense tropical storms leading to floods (about 8 times per year). Another urgent problem is population explosion. Compared with the average growth rate of population in the Philippines (2.04%), Valenzuela face a more serious situation with a double figure (4.93%), addressing the needs of new houses to be built in undeveloped area.



Through detailed research and studies of the Filipino culture, we extracted a central idea from two indigenous words “Barangay” and “Bayanihan”. The former one refers to community led by a captain or Datu in the past, and the latter demonstrates Filipinos’ willingness to help each other without expecting anything in return during disasters. We decided to take a community as a unit to transform the urban environment from bottom up by spreading out the units. Four elements constitute each unit: 40-50 households, community center and vegetable garden and fishing industry.






Vegetable Garden System


For the vegetable garden, it is initially developed to meet their own demands food supply for the community in both disastrous and normal periods, while utilising the vertical space and the vacant land in each block. The agricultural industry is expected to flourish in the future and by then, with the better harvest, residents can start to run a business in cater to the fact that the City Government of Valenzuela plans to convert these areas into an ecotourist





Community Construction


For the construction of new houses, we focus on the underprivileged families living in vulnerable huts that are most susceptible to floods by accounting for factors such as local construction techniques and construction feasibility based on a limited budget. The proposal is a group of houses that can be aggregated into a community during disasters and separated as individual dwellings in normal period. The material is also available in situ: coconut wood as the main structure, nipa as the woven wall and corrugated steel sheet as roof.

社区建设包括两部分:其一是私人住宅,我们把关注点放在没有经济能力的家庭上,他们负担不起稳固的混凝土房屋的建设费用。因此在非常有限的预算下,我们以当地原有的传统棚屋“尼帕屋Nipa Hut”为原型,运用当地的材料——椰子木、尼帕叶——为他们设计一个可以满足当地技术而自主搭建的房屋方案。房屋的设计满足几个特点:本土材料、低预算、低技术、轻质可移动。其二是公共的社区中心,社区中心的结构必须稳固,可供人们在平时进行社区活动,洪水时期避难,我们将社区中心设计为两层的平台,灾时首层可用作社区的避难中心,二层用以放置可移动的轻质房屋。

尼帕屋Nipa Hut:菲律宾当地的一个传统木构棚屋,因屋顶常用当地一种植物叶子——尼帕叶为覆顶材料而得名


Community Construction


Each unit will experience a building process: barangay community is established and led by a leader; new nipa huts and community center are constructed by local people and guided by the proposed handbook; agriculture and fishing provide economic support; the infrastructure is improved; the residents who originally live in the nipa huts will donate their huts for new comer after they are affordable to move into a new permanent house.





Resilient Cycle


A resilient cycle illustrates how the new proposal works in different periods: before floods come, neighbours gather to help carry the entire nipa huts onto the top of the community center where floods cannot reach; during the disaster, people living in the broken and flooded houses can shelter at the community center with sufficient food supply; after the water level goes down, the nipa huts are again carried back to where they were.


弹性循环阐述了新系统是在平时和灾时怎样运转的。在洪水来临之前,邻里吆喝着聚集,“嘿,咱们一起来搬房子吧!” 他们传承着巴朗盖互帮互助的精神,齐心协力帮助低收入家庭将他们的尼帕屋搬上社区中心的二层平台躲避洪水;而社区里会被洪水侵入的家庭,将去往社区平台的首层进行避难,洪水期变成了大家集体居住的生活模式,社区中心成为了一个公共社交场所。在洪水期间,人们在社区中心的公共厨房享用提前收割好的蔬菜,安心等待洪水的退去。



From Resilient Community to Resilient City


The building process different units are simultaneous or taking place over time. Not until one community unit completely gets improved and perfected, a new unit is implemented and starts its circle. To building the connection of independent units, the main roads are raised over the average water level of floods so that during disasters communities can still transport between each other.

As a strategy of urban renewal based on the core of Filipino spirit and grass-root power, the design of the resilient circle will gradually change the urban fabric, starting from one fleck, and subsequently spreading out into clusters.




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