Archi seniors propose ‘bayanihan’-themed transpo solution in Asian tilt

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Thomas Benjamin Intal, Timothy James Arambulo and Michelle Anne Tanieca

THREE architecture seniors snagged bronze in the 2020 Architects Regional Council Asia (Arcasia) Students’ Architectural Design Competition on Jan. 6 with a proposal addressing Metro Manila’s transportation crisis amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Timothy James Arambulo, Thomas Benjamin Intal and Michelle Anne Tanieca said the “new normal” brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic called for “alternative solutions” in the transportation sector.

Their project, titled “Bayanihan: The Filipino Spirit of Unity Working Together to Achieve a Common Noble Purpose,” seeks to revive the Pasig River as a transportation hub and mount a biking system infrastructure “that will reconnect the cities in Metro Manila.”

“The discrepancy between available transport vehicles and the [number] of commuters had urged the public to limit travel and to stay home if possible,” said the students in their proposal.

“The demand for biking infrastructures [also] heightened under the new normal as bicycles had become a necessity for commuters in the country,” they added.

Arambulo, the head of the team, said the uncertainties brought by the pandemic inspired the group to “pioneer ideas to help create a better, resilient environment.”

“[Bayanihan] is the Filipino spirit of unity that moves us to work together so that the community will reap and share as a unit. The design aims to build resilient structures that connect us and improve our cities’ mobility to brace the unpredictable nature of our natural environment,” Arambulo told the Varsitarian.

The design also features a biking bridge made of polyethylene plastic pontoons that can be easily configured based on specific locations along the Pasig River.

“During the peak of the world-wide lockdowns, people were uncertain about their future and powerless to stop the present situation. As future designers, we found a purpose and accepted the challenge to create a better design,” Arambulo said.

The students competed against architecture students from 21 countries in Asia.

They were coached by architects Prof. Caryn Paredes-Santillan and Asst. Prof. Ruth Equipaje.

Bangladesh and Indonesia bagged the bronze along with the Philippines. Jamilah B. Angco

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