Project SmartHome

LOCATIONMarikina, Metro Manila

In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana ravaged the Northern Philippines, submerging almost five million people under massive floods. In many areas, residents scrambled to their rooftops for safety and found themselves stranded there for days, suffering from hypothermia, extreme hunger and thirst as they waited for rescue.

With thousands of families still living in flood-prone areas today, the challenge is to design a climate-adaptive, flood-resistant house that allows residents in these areas to co-exist with the regular threat of flood.

Inspired by the local nipa hut, the house is lifted (as if on stilts) above the area’s flood level to free up the ground floor as an outdoor living space. Other spaces like the living and dining rooms—typically found in lower levels—were placed on the highest floor to save the major household appliances they hold from potential flood damage.

R.A.F.T.s or Regenerative Amphibious Floating Terraces were strategically integrated as a floating balcony and carport. The Balcony R.A.F.T. detaches from the building and converts into an escape pod, allowing homeowners to row to safety should their houses be completely submerged. Meanwhile, the carport can float in place and keep vehicles above the water, saving them from damage and costly replacement.

Finally, the façade is a sun screen that protects the interiors from direct heat and gives the home privacy. Vibrant, curved, and free-flowing, it is also a visual reminder that the only way to co-exist with the changing climate is to design WITH it, and not AGAINST it.


Project Team : Principal Architect – Jason Buensalido; Lead Project Architect – Yani Dela Pasion, Project Architect – Arvin Gali, Technical Innovations Architect – Larry Espino