Friday, March 22, 2013

Estudio Damgo - Week 17 and 18

This is the last push to finish the Dungga Daycare building for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, March 25.  Fifth year thesis students, Rick and Von, have been working over time to ensure they will graduate on Sunday, going as far as sleeping over night on site.  They will remember this experience for a life time and the knowledge gained during this design/build program will have a profound impact as they enter the professional world.  To follow more on Estudio Damgo - Dungga Daycare visit the facebook page Estudio Damgo.
The sac-sac roof is fully installed and the building is now covered and dry.  Since the building is 100% passive, the roof provides shade and shelter from the sun and the rain.  The bamboo exterior panels let air pass-thru.

This interior view shows the folding doors, designed and detailed by fourth year student, Cheyenne.  The doors turned out beautifully.  They are delightful to see when closed yet easy to open for viewing out towards the surrounding lush valley.  

Looking west, only a single door has been installed.  This wall still needs a bamboo exterior enclosure before the ribbon cutting ceremony in a few days.  It's crunch time.

 Cheyenne and Von peer through the skeleton bamboo enclosure from the exterior covered walkway.

The Comfort Room (CR) is almost finished.  Many have commented on how "modern" the finishes are.  This CR looks like it belongs in a new hotel.  Regardless, it's an upgrade from their existing facilities in the main classroom building.  There, the toilet is not automatic, instead a water bucket is used to flush the toilet.  Using a water bucket and spigot in a CR is common practice in the Philippines, especially in a rural setting like the Dunnga Daycare.

Fifth year student Von and Art student Mariz team up to varnish the bamboo and wood on the project.

Fifth year student, Rick, gazes over at the newly installed light fixture designed, detailed, and fabricated by fourth year student, Al.  The daycare has a total of three interior lights in the main space, one light in the CR, and two exterior lights.  The electric lights will rarely be used during operating hours because the building has been designed to allow daylight and the majority of the time the building will not be occupied past sunset.

Exterior light fixture made by drilling holes into bamboo.  Still waiting to see how this perforated fixture will glow at night.

Working on the final touches, fourth year student Rhea and instructor Ray, use a jig saw to fit interior shelving around the bamboo supports.

Interior shelving installed using simple angle bracket supports.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Estudio Damgo - Week 13, 14, 15, 16

The team has been working steady over the past month.  Thesis students have only 16 days until graduation and the pressure rises to finish the building in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for Monday, March 25.  With that in mind, there has been a lot of progress over these critical weeks.  By the end of week 16 all the primary structural members have been installed.  The bamboo roof purlins are placed and the sak-sak roofing material is almost entirely lapped and sewn into place.  The Comfort Room ceramic wall is ongoing and the bathroom fixtures have been delivered to the site.  The Fine Arts students prepped, painted, and sealed the exterior wall mural in four days total.  At the campus tool shop, the bamboo screens and exterior panels have been fabricated and are now delivered to the site ready for installation. The building is almost dried in and interior finishes will be the focus the next two weeks.

Arriving on the site, the sac-sac roof is almost fully installed.

The roof form is derived from the surrounding mountain backdrop.  The building is oriented East and West to draw in the coastal and valley breezes.

Foundation workers team up to continue weaving the sac-sac roof into place.

Here you can see how the sac-sac is woven by using rubber string cut from old tires and wooden needles. This is a great way to up-cycle and divert expired tires from the landfill.

The bamboo roof structure is tied to three bamboo roof trusses supported by bamboo columns.  All bamboo members are form-cut and nailed together with bamboo pegs that are glued and pounded into place.  The members are then secured together by tying native rattan around the bamboo joints.  Each joint receives this finishing rattan, which is a traditional way to assemble bamboo structures.  The students are forced to practice this many times over, where eventually they become experts in executing this tradition and craft.

Outside, FU workers lap the ridge sac-sac into place.

This worker is nailing the stainless steel ridge flashing to cap off the sak-sak roof.

For most of the day, the priority was to finish the roof so that the interior finishes can be installed the following week.  Rick, the fifth year thesis student is using a wood planer to size the wood nailer for the bamboo exterior wall panels and screens.

 One of the bamboo exterior panels is getting fitted into it's rightful place on the South Elevation.

At the end of the day, the elementary students assemble to say their pledges and lower the flag for another day.  The children are finally able to use their play yard again for this purpose, now that the septic tank and all the excavation in that area is complete.  Soon, grass will be seeded and they will have a softer surface to play.
The wall mural provides a colorful and inspirational backdrop to the ending ceremonies.  Having this art project complete is an indicator that these are the final weeks and days at the Malaunay, Dungga Daycare site.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The HA-experiment Gallery Debut and Housewarming

February was densely packed with events every week, keeping me spinning in all directions.  I kicked off the month with the HA? Project in Bais City, meanwhile rehearsing for the Vagina Monologues and performing on stage and dancing for One Billion Rising for Valentine's Day. As a teacher and bike advocate, I organized a bike rack design competition during the Dumaguete Exposition, and to wrap up this busy month I opened my new residence to debut the HA? Experiment.

In January, the university gave me the opportunity to move out of my current residence at Balay Sa Alumni, and relocate to the university housing condominiums called, Greyhound Village.  This move came along with the commitment to lead the next Estudio Damgo design/build project, signing onto a full year to live and teach in the Philippines.

My new home is located about 6km from Dumaguete business core and inland from the coast.  It's higher in elevation and more rural setting where there are breezes to catch and less noise from pedicabs and the bustle of city life.  Being a country girl at heart, I love the natural surroundings of bamboo, palms, grass, and listening to the birds.  At night I get a very clear view of the star-filled sky.  It's peaceful to come home after a busy day of teaching and the heat, noise and congestion in Dumaguete.

Because the house is a two-story, two bedroom unit, there is more than enough space for my limited belongings.  It's the largest space I've ever lived in on my own without other renters.    The layout makes it a perfect space to live/work.  In this case, I'm teaming up with Hersley-Ven Casero to create a working art studio and exhibition space where we will have a gallery opening every-other month.  Hersley and I have coined this the HA? Experiment.

On February 28, the HA? Experiment debuted Hersley and my first art works created for the HA? Experiment.  We had nearly 20 friendly patrons visit the house that night.  Hersley's uncle, brother and cousin played drums, flute, and other hand crafted instruments filling the house with a earthy beat and adding an invigorating element to the party!  I am very excited about these developments with this new home and art exploration.
Me, standing in the kitchen doorway.  Candles light the windowsill to the kitchen creating an extra glowing dimension welcoming the guests to the debut of the HA? Experiment.  - Photo by Zydore

Everyone gets a turn to drum and dance!  Hersley's uncle, Nicky takes the lead on the drum, pictured far left. - Photo by Zydore

Nicky keeping the rhythm seated in front of Hersley's end of year five panel art work, "The Wind" series. - Photo by Hersley-Ven Casero

Zydore, Nicky, neighbor Carlo, and Jia keep in time.  A balloon landscape painting backdrop is my work-in-progress.  The modern, clean contemporary lines of the condominium space screams gallery space!  High ceilings and white walls encourage large and colorful art works!  - Photo by Hersley-Ven Casero

Girlfriends all pile in the second bedroom and installation room "Room No. 1".  Hersley's "Helmet" series playfully bounce about the wall behind. - Photo by Hersley-Ven Casero

One last all-over shot of the main floor space serving as gallery.  It was a very warm gathering and art opening!  Thanks everyone. - Photo by Hersley-Ven Casero