ArchivesJuly 2013Bajumpandan residents okay Estudio Damgo design

Bajumpandan residents okay Estudio Damgo design


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The Estudio Damgo design for the proposed multi-purpose building for the Caritas Phase 1 and the Core Housing project in barangay Bajumpandan in Dumaguete City has received the thumbs up from the community and will soon start construction.

Fr. Burton Villarmente and representatives of the Caritas Phase 1 and Core Shelter Housing approved the design during a design review session with 4th and 5th year architecture students from Foundation University.

The Estudio Damgo program, which is now on its second year, is a design-build studio for 4th and 5th year architecture students of the Department of Architecture & Fine Arts, where the students will design and build a project that will benefit a community.

Last year, Estudio Damgo finished a day care center in sitio Dungga in barangay Malaunay, Valencia.

Funding for the project has been sourced from donors, mainly in the United States, through a US-based organization called GlobalGiving.

Victor Vicente G. Sinco, dean of the DAFA, said the Estudio Damgo is patterned after the Rural Studio program of Auburn University in Alabama, USA, under Samuel Mockbee.

The design was made in a span of four weeks, incorporating the inputs gathered by the architecture students through consultations with the community that will benefit from the project. The architecture students also discussed their researches on the materials to be used, the form of the structure, details about the partnership and the rough estimates of the cost of the building and eventually, the final schematic design.

The next step is doing the design development phase where the students will develop the details, structural, electrical, plumbing, and interior of the building.

The concept of Estudio Damgo has attracted architects from the United States to offer their services to Foundation University, as their way of “giving back” to the community. Last year, the Day Care project was headed by Ray Villanueva, a Fil-Am architect, who came to Dumaguete and stayed for over a year with his wife Amy.

This year, Estudio Damgo will be headed by Ana Koosman, an architect who was Villanueva’s classmate at the University of Washington. Koosman, who worked at the internationally-renowned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) architectural firm in Chicago, will be assisted by Arathi Gowda, a fellow architect at SOM. Both Koosman and Gowda also teach at the FU Department of Architecture and Fine Arts.

To date, only Foundation University has a design-build program in the Philippines, and the uniqueness of this program has made one student, Von Jovi Biala, a finalist for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines.

Biala said he considers himself very lucky to have earned his architecture degree from FU which gave him “a lesson of a lifetime.”

“The architecture program at Foundation University is very different from what other architecture schools in the Philippines are offering,” he noted. He said he is confident that the hands-on training that FU offers its students through the Estudio Damgo program is giving them a head-start in their careers.

Another unique feature in this year’s Estudio Damgo is the integration of a livelihood component with the introduction of aquaponics, or the science of planting crops without soil, using fishponds as the source of organically-fertilized water.

The aquaponics component will be handled by the College of Agriculture, headed by Dean Mark Espedilla.

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