Lilim ng Pamayanan - An architectural response to finding the true Filipino identity through architecture and humanitarianism

Raphael Angelo Gannaban

1 Starter Image

Lilim ng Pamayanan emerges as an architectural ode to resilience and cultural revival, nestled in the heart of Smokey Mountains—a community that once found its identity in the shadows of a notorious dumpsite. This transformative endeavor seeks to rewrite the narrative of this space, offering not just shelter but a beacon of hope and renewal. Inspired by the intricate tapestry of Filipino culture, the architecture draws from the wisdom of the Bahay Kubo, using locally sourced materials and tribal-inspired tattoos on post and beams. It's more than a structure; it's an embodiment of second chances, community empowerment, and the enduring spirit of the Filipino people.

As we venture into the architectural landscape of Lilim ng Pamayanan, we find a testament to sustainability and adaptive reuse. The design ethos extends beyond the mere construction of buildings—it's a conscious choice to transform, repurpose, and breathe life into a space once marred by the echoes of its tumultuous past. Locally sourced materials become the brushstrokes on this canvas of renewal, with the corrugated iron roofs and wooden post-and-beams bearing not only the weight of shelter but the imprints of tribal tattoos, each telling a story of resilience and cultural identity. In this architectural symphony, Lilim ng Pamayanan invites us to witness the fusion of tradition and innovation, where the very essence of Filipino heritage becomes the cornerstone of a brighter tomorrow.

In a fast-changing global context, defining the real Filipino identity has become a critical endeavour. The rich fabric of Philippine history has given rise to a multitude of perspectives and interpretations, owing to centuries of varied cultural influences. This diverse mix frequently causes people to question their own cultural heritage, wondering whether aspects genuinely constitute their Filipino core. Many people have been deeply introspective as they try to figure out whether they represent a mix of diverse influences or a particular, rooted culture. This thesis starts on a heartbreaking journey into the heart of Filipino identity, attempting to unravel the threads of heritage that weave together this complicated tapestry, exposing an established understanding of what it actually means to be Filipino.

As colonization spread its impact throughout the Philippines, it left an everlasting stamp on the architectural environment. The integration of foreign design concepts and indigenous workmanship resulted in a distinct architectural vernacular that expresses both adaptation and resistance. But among the waves of change, there is a priceless vault of traditional knowledge and expertise that has been passed down through the decades. This thesis aims to maintain a cultural heritage while also empowering communities with the knowledge of their ancestors by restoring vernacular architecture and conventional construction methods. By doing so, it establishes an important connection connecting the past and the present, brings to life places that speak to the essence of the Filipino people, and paves the way for a future that is more culturally anchored and resilient.

Set in the dense urban city of Smokey Mountains in Tondo, Metro Manila, this thesis shall embark on a transformative journey. It shall not only provide shelter but also instil a renewed sense of purpose and belonging among the residents. The architecture shall serve as a beacon of hope, rekindling the spirit of a community that has endured hardships with unwavering strength. Through innovative design and thoughtful planning, it aims to empower individuals, offering spaces that foster growth and collective well-being. Rooted in the ethos of Filipino culture, the architecture shall imbue values of resiliency and adaptability, ensuring that the community not only survives but thrives in the face of adversity.

11 Timeline
Timeline of the Colonization of the Philippines
5 Research
The Bahay Kubo, a quintessential symbol of Filipino vernacular architecture, serves as a profound muse for the design of Lilim ng Pamayanan. Its architectural simplicity and adaptability are echoed in the very bones of this project. The raised wooden floor, sturdy bamboo walls, and steeply pitched thatched roof of the Bahay Kubo inspire a harmonious blend of tradition and functionality. In the spirit of the Bahay Kubo, Lilim ng Pamayanan embraces open planning, allowing the flow of air and light to permeate the spaces. This design choice not only enhances natural ventilation but also fosters a sense of communal living—a vital aspect of Filipino culture. The use of locally sourced materials, a hallmark of the Bahay Kubo, is not just an architectural choice but a commitment to sustainability and community engagement. The Bahay Kubo's influence extends to the flexible nature of Lilim ng Pamayanan's spaces. Like its muse, this architectural endeavor accommodates various functions—church, community hall, workshop—while remaining a potential place to call home for those in need. In essence, the Bahay Kubo's enduring legacy resonates through Lilim ng Pamayanan, breathing life into a new architectural narrative that is deeply rooted in Filipino heritage
6 Research
At the heart of Lilim ng Pamayanan's structural integrity lies the artistry of bamboo lashings—a nod to the time-honored construction techniques rooted in Filipino tradition. The deliberate choice of bamboo as a building material is a testament to its strength, flexibility, and sustainability. The lashings, meticulously crafted and woven, not only serve as a practical means of joining structural elements but also embody a cultural connection to the Filipino way of life. In the rhythmic dance between bamboo and twine, there exists a profound harmony, each lash representing a tie to the past and a commitment to a resilient, sustainable future. The bamboo lashings in Lilim ng Pamayanan are more than just a construction method; they are a celebration of craftsmanship and a tribute to the enduring spirit of Filipino ingenuity.
8 Floor Plan Combined
Floor Plan for the 3 Main Buildings - Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
2 Section
Section of Visayas
3 Section2
Section of Luzon
4 Section3
Section of Mindanao
7 Cross Section
Cross Section of the 3 Main Buildings
8 Render 1
Render of the Backyard
8 Render 2
Render of the Performance Hall
8 Render 3
Render of the New Dumpsite
8 Render 4
Render of Lilim ng Pamayanan
8 Render 5
Render of the Lost Toy
8 Render 6
Render of the Walkway of Learning

In conclusion, the essence of the Filipino identity, as encapsulated in both its vibrant culture and architectural marvels, is a celebration of diversity. Pre-dating colonization, our nation boasts a mosaic of 1000 dialects, numerous tribes, and a rich heritage that stretches far into history. Being Filipino means embodying a spirit of resilience passed down through generations. It involves treasuring a diverse tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions that unites us as a nation. The Filipino identity finds strength in community bonds, places family at its core, and extends warm hospitality to all. It carries a legacy of creativity, adaptability, and an unwavering determination to thrive amidst challenges. To be Filipino is to revel in the beauty of our natural landscapes and safeguard our cultural heritage for the generations to come. It is an embrace of a unique identity that holds a distinct and cherished position within the global family of nations.