Monday, September 27, 2010

A sketchy evening

Childrens forest At the end of the session Erlend came up with his vision for the park, a green oasis where people can relax and get a break from the crowded and dusty city life.

A couple of days ago we had a gathering at Erlend, Let Let and Nevas place. The agenda of this informal meeting was to collect all the thoughts people have about the park, and make the first sketch of a masterplan. Fueled by cake and mangoshakes we sat down with each our pencils and started jotting down everything from swings and benches to footballfields. After a while we focused more on the park as a whole, and began dividing it into the spatial zones that felt most natural. When the areas were given their own purpose and theme that should complement each other, and not compete, this quickly had implications on the detail level.

Naturally, some conflicts started looming on the horizon. Like how to prevent the study center from being overrun by hordes of shouting kids from the play area. After discussing the consequenses of putting up a fence, we decided that its best to keep the park as open as possible, and tackle the problem by other means, like with orientation and level changes. We also agreed that kids usually go to the areas with most attractions, and which they find most interesting, so perhaps that even solves the problem already.

In the longer run one other challenge is to how keep the park as a park, and prevent it from being clogged by new projects always popping up. This is where a clear masterplan comes in handy. A plan which everyone agrees on, and which is then pinned to the wall. Of course things can change with time, but it is imporant to have some strong visions that can steer the development into the right direction. At the end Erlend came up with his vision, “childrens forest”, a place where nature is the dominating force.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Questions and suggestions

What is the potential of the study centre?
What are the different educational spaces?

What qualities can contribute to make the education better?
What potensial is there in the topology of the site?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can you Dig it?

Digging and rediscovering an old pathway

Today we started working at eight o`clock. All five of the fathers met in time and we started digging. Todays goal was to clean and level the upper area of the building site. As the building site is located in an old park we also had to digg up some of the old foundations and pathways located in this area.

Discovering while digging, the kids were bussy studying all the bugs and animals that lived under the garbage and in the plastic bags under the ground.

The ground we were digging was not only consisting of soil, but also plastic bags, bottles, flip-flops, old clothes, rats, beatles, snakes and other unidentified objects. We sorted out the garbage from the dirt that was dug up before moving it to areas that we needed more soil.

Removing A huge pile of dirt dividing the building site into two areas.

Today was a fun experience and it was a nice opportunity for us to work together with the fathers. We are really looking forward to continuing with this. At five o`clock we finnished todays work.

Lets go! After experiencing the sun as well as realising what kind of insects was living in the soil, this will be tomorows dresscode. We are really looking forward to tell the fathers!

Thanks to everyone that helped out with todays work!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The fathers

Translating Let Let is translating from english into waray waray.

This thursday we will begin digging and preparing the site. We hope to involve the fathers in the building process, so today we invited those that were interested to work with us. Five of the fathers would help us to dig and level the ground. A total of ten fathers came to the meeting, so we had to make an arbitrary selection for these two days of work.

Next week: The men interested in working with us next thursday and friday.

The main reason why we are interested in involving the fathers is so that they can get the opportunity to help their own kids. Now, the mothers are working hard cleaning and making food for their kids at the study and development center. We wanted to give the father the opportunity to contribute as well. Hopefully will this project be a good arena for exchanging experiences with the fathers, involving carpenters to share their knowledge and so on. And in the end, maybe the fathers can feel that they achieved something special.

The mothers and Neva: The mothers were sitting in the background watching as their husbands were walking around on the site

Friday, September 17, 2010

Meeting the community

Discussions It's a lot easier and more engaging when everyone can look and point at a physical model.

Today we had a meeting with the mothers of the children enrolled in the study center program. They are responsible for running the kitchen and serving breakfast to the kids before they go to school, as well as organizing all the other practical aspects. Their job is really imporant, and it’s crucial for us to have a good dialogue when building the new center. Our first meeting last week was all about getting to know each other, and explaining each others jobs here at Streetlight. Today we presented our newly built model of the site, and explained the possible logistical challenge of connecting the existing kitchen with the new center. We stressed that it is really important that we have a close dialogue on this matter. After a while the meeting developed into a lively discussion, and Let Let and Erlend did an excellent job as translators. They told us that they had a lot of ideas and points they would write down, and put in our suggestion-box which will be built tomorrow.

Suggestion note from one of the mothers The learning center have to be a biger size in order that if there are more scholars, learning center is not enough for them (translated from waray waray)

One of the main ideas behind Streetlights cooperation with the mothers, is to give them the ability to contribute to their childrens education, instead of having the feeling that it is left to others. The core problem in many of the families is however that the fathers, which are responsible for supporting the family, have a hard time finding a job, and in some cases have given up totally. It is therefore a golden opportunity to get them involved in the process with the new study center. They will be able to contribute to their kids, while at the same time getting valuable working experience and provide income for the family. We are going to have an orientation meeting with the fathers tomorrow, and see who might be interested in working with us on the project. Our plan is that we and five of the fathers are going to start clearing the site and digging next thursday, which we think will be great fun!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Talking to the teachers

What if the study and developement centre is divided into three parts? One part for elementary school students, one part for high school and college.

Entrances Drawing made by one of the teachers.

Classrooms are noisy, should they have some distance between eatchother?But where to put the library?

Movement Three classrooms connected by doors and with one main entrance

What about the space inbetween the classrooms. Could this be used for educational purposes?

In between an outdoor educational space

Monday, September 13, 2010

Measuring the site

Last week we starting measuring the site. The kids loved to help us as long as they could use the measuring tools. They were also helping recording the measurements as shown above. But sometimes it was difficult for us to understand their drawings.

After finnishing the measuring, Jun-Jun continued working on the project. And by the end of the day, we recieved some new drawings for the study and development buildings.

This weekend we have been making plans and sections and we are now starting to make a model of the site. Hopefully it will be a good tool for further discussions about the site and the terrain.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

House for the pidgeons and preparations for the childrens centre buildings

Today we continued measuring the site for the new childrens centre buildings. At the same time we helped some of the kids to continue with their planning for the dove house. They built a modell out of fiftheen boxes that they aranged around one of the coconut threes in the park.

We wanted to help the kids developing this project as this was a project initiated by the kids themselves. It was also a good opportunity for us to get to know the kids and introduce some of the tools that we use in developing architectural ideas. From this point on we will let the boys develop the project themselves. And we will have another workshop when they have an idea they want to pursue before helping them build it.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

A new home for the childrens carrier-pigeons

Today the kids introduced us for their carrier pidgeons. These are pidgeons the kids have trained to bring letters and messages. Right now they have seven pidgeons that live in the three house, but they are planning to get more .

We have started preparations for the children centre, looking at the park and the context of the building. Hopefully we will manage to get a section as well as a measured plan of the building site within the next couple of days. But today goal was to arrange a small workshop to come up with ideas for the building of a new tree house for their pidgeons. Together we got together to make drawings and models of the new dovehouse. The kids are full of energy and ideas. And it was really fun working with them.

After Trond and the younger kids had been jumping on the tables, running around, playing airplane, transformers and so on we finally managed to make some sketches and talk together about what they want for the dovehouse. We got to the conclusion that the pidgeon needs a landing area, a roof, a place to sleep, a place where they eat and a ladder for the kids to climb up.

The older kids worked really focused and well, and by the end of the day they had built two of the ideas they came up with.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Returning from Tokyo

After having stayed almost three months in Tokyo working at Sou Fujimoto architecs I am now in Tacloban, Philipines. Tokyo have been a great experience, and I have learned a lot about architecture as well as other things. Living and working in Tokyo have really introduced me to a new way of understanding architecture and the prosess of making: Through models, drawings, CAD-drawings, sketches, consepts as well as design.

Some things about japanese culture I will never understand. I have had the possibility to meet a lot of wonderfull people, that made my stay in Tokyo special and I am sure I will be back some day. Working all day, eating lunch at the old lady, dinner at mos burger, izakayas at night, going to kamakura beach, blue note, watching hanabi in omotesando, sitting on the rooftop of Sakurah house.... Tokyo have been great! Thanks to all the staff at Sou Fujimoto, all the friend i made, the interns and Leika.

After three days of traveling i finally arrived in Tacloban meeting Erlend, Trond & Ivar. At the Old childrens park I got to meet all the wonderfull kids of Streethlight. I really am looking forward to start working!!!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Palawan - et av de vakreste stedene i Filippinene

Fantastisk et sted hvor det ikke er så dumt å ta seg et bad!

Fersk fisk rett fra havet grillet fisk med tomat, løk, soyasaus og en type lime, er noe av den mest populære matretten her. Når det tilberedes på stranden smaker det ekstra godt.

I det siste har vi vært på reisefot i Palawan. Dette er et av de flotteste stedene i Filippinne, eller også i verden. Her opplevde vi de naturskjønne omgivelsene samtidig som vi kunne lære mer om den filippinske kulturen og byggeskikken. Palawan er et av de stedene der det fremdeles finnes store uberørt naturområder som også er hjemsted for en rekke truede dyrearter.

Etter en og en halv uke i storbyer med 40 grader var det herlig å kunne ta et bad i asurblåttvann sammen med fisker i alle muilge farger. Dessverre endte endte Trond sin bade glede med korallkutt på foten. Han oppsøkte det lokale helsesenteret i den lille "byen" El Nido, men fikk beskjed om at legen ikke kom før om en uke.... Så han måtte etterhvert ta turen til Puerto Princesa en 6 timers busstur unna.

Reisverkskonstruksjon i mindre urbane strøk er det vanlig å bygge rammeverk av uskårent tømmer som igjen blir kledd med flettet bambus - man ser rullen av veggkledningen nederst til høyre.

Flettveksvegger husene er som oftest kledd med flettet bambus, og er hevet fra bakken

Taktekking bambusblader som er brettet og lagt på spesielle møter danner ofte flotte mønstere.

Dette var også et perfekt sted for å studere en mer tradisjonell byggeskikk enn det som finner sted i byene. Klimaet og materialbruk er ganske annerledes enn det vi har i norge - det er for eksempel lite behov for iolasjon! Det var interessant å studere hvordan tre, mur og flettverk blir bruk. Man finner flettverk i alle mulige møstre og det brukes fra vegger og tak til hengekøyer og andre bruksgjenstander.

Tilbake til Tacloban

Da vi kom tilbake til Tacloban hadde Neva, Erlend og Adriel ankommet etter en velfortjent ferie! Det var hyggelig å endelig møte Erlend, som vi har hatt løpende kontakt med i et år. Han fortalte oss entusiastisk om alle ideene han hadde for parken. Og det er mange spennede prosjekter å sette igang med. Alle muligheter og hvordan disse kan fungere sammen gjør ting utrolig spennende!