Bahay NaBuhay/BahayNg Buhay

Who are we? Why do we live? We eat, we sleep, we think, we love -we go through life as a series of events that tell our stories. We have stories of joy, of pain and heartache, of trials and victories. We live to tell our stories when profound and even when mundane, to share with another the life we live within. We seek to find expression of this life by how we extend our bodies and our lives, through our words, our music, by what we create. What we as individuals can imagine, finds its way to become notes on a page that asks others to dance. Words, strung together on paper, find their way to resonate in someone else’s heart. We share what our hands create to become another’s springboard to know of another kind of life.

Art allows us as a nation to connect and become a collective, sharing perspectives. It is the rhythm of life coursing through individuals, across space, pulsating, feeding our souls. It holds us, Filipinos, together as one.

It is no secret that the most important resource of any country will always be its people. The Filipino people is so rich in talent, it is but just that this be nurtured and protected. Philippine art and culture has greatly been taken for granted, perceived as a luxury rather than as a necessity. Perhaps it is time to realize that when we enrich the life within, we ultimately empower the capacity to be and become more. This structure is designed to be the sanctuary where this transformation can occur.

This structure is a two-wing configuration. Wing A is the main exhibit hall for any featured exhibitions, art pieces, and events. Its roof will feature a viewing deck where one can enjoy the city-scape and the clear night sky.  This space can further serve as a private outdoor activity area. The ground level amphitheater will allow for outdoor performances, outdoor exhibits and may even be a concert venue.

Wing B will house operations and functional spaces. It will have the administration offices. It will also hold an auditorium for indoor performances, workshop and lecture rooms for different classes or individual work. There will be conference rooms for discussions and meetings. A cafe will be available for those who want to unwind, and provide a space where readers, book clubs, poets, writers and various artists can also hold readings and performances. The top floor will have a library and electronic resource center, with a section dedicated for children’s story telling.

The entire structure will implement natural passive cooling. All corridors are open but sun-shaded, functioning both as circulation space and volada to help cool interior spaces.  Ceiling spaces are well-vented as added buffer volume between floors. Only the exhibit hall, offices, workshop areas, library, auditorium, and cafe are air-conditioned. The lattice sun shade system allows for natural air to flow while providing protection from direct sunlight. These lattice sun shades double as a marquee for promotional purposes, and can also be used as art space. At night, it can be used as an LED board. The entire building will use available technology for energy efficiency such as solar cell panels and maglev wind turbines.

The main hall floats to create a ground level that is intentionally unobstructed. This ground space allows adjacent lots to be viewed through the site at ground level, paying homage to adjacent structures. The layout also strategically positions Wing B to protect the garden space from the noise and bustle of the main road. This open garden will serve as a park with interactive public sculptures – a safe haven where anyone can create, a space where adults and children dream and play.

There is a basement that holds an auditorium, a storage room, and utility spaces.  Ideal for such functions that require proper control of light.

The design of the Bahay na/ng Buhay aims to be a haven for the arts.  They are the stories of our lives. These stories deserve to be told. Your story deserves to be told. It will be protected. It will be shared. This living, breathing space will celebrate life. It will hold all our stories, and our one story as a Filipino people, sacred.

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