Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ongoing Work at Community Center in Malungon

Bamboo Building. The rafters are up, walls are being built, and the concrete ground-level  floor has been poured and  smoothed over at the CCT's  Kerith Ravine Retreat and Community Resource Center in  Malungon, Sarangani Province.  The building , to be made mostly of bamboo, was designed by Arch. Rosario “Ning” Encarnacion-Tan, an internationally renowned Filipino architect and a pioneer in applying the principles of traditional Filipino architecture to contemporary design, mainly through the use of bamboo and other local material.

Like the traditional Filipino bahay kubo, the community center will be raised from the ground.  It will have bamboo walls and a cogon grass roof.  Most of the silong or ground floor will be left open.

But why bamboo? In  an interview with Marge Enriquez of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Arch. Tan explained that bamboo is as sturdy as steel in tensile strength and strong as concrete in compressive strength.  She explained  that unlike some materials from the earth such as marble ,bamboo can be replenished, and compared with trees that take ten years or more to reach maturity, bamboo is ready to use for construction purposes in five years.  She also said that bamboo can thrive in subsoil. As for organizations like CCT that are involved in community work and job generation, bamboo is a wise choice as  building material because  during processing, the money goes mostly to labor rather than the material.

CCT Services. Kerith Ravine is one of 19 CCT branch offices that have been converted into community centers this year.  Each community center houses facilities for CCT services such as micro finance, pre-school education, basic medical check-ups, and skills training. When complete, Kerith Ravine will have a clinic,a pharmacy, a water station, and restrooms on the ground floor. A worship hall with a 160-seating capacity, a library, an office, and a classroom will be on the second floor. 

Although the architecture of the Malungon community center is Filipino, its name is Hebrew. The center was named after  Kerith Ravine in I Kings 17 in the Bible, the place where the prophet Elijah stayed for a few years while Israel underwent a drought. 

When complete, the Kerith Ravine Community Resource Center will look like this. 

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