Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Monday, 4 January 2016

French Social Housing Experiments (1950s-1980s)

The Fading "Grands Ensembles" of Paris Laurent Kronental's Souvenir d'un Futur photos capture these stigmatized housing experiments and their aging residents. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Paris erected a series of massive apartment complexes to address a burgeoning housing crisis and accommodate an influx of foreign immigrants after WWII. Once seen as impressive manifestations of modern and postmodern ideology, these days the buildings are often stigmatized by the public and in the media, viewed largely as places of unemployment, delinquency, and exclusion. Source:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

"Gwapotel" transient worker housing solution in Metro Manila

Gwapotel is a portmanteau of gwapo, Filipino term which means good-looking, and hotel. The word is used by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando to a worker's inn he founded in the old refurbished 4 story building which formerly houses the National Power Corporation located along Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila. Presently, it has been renamed as the MMDA Worker's Inn, and is in operation. First Gwapotel[edit] On September 6, 2007, Chairman Fernando said that the “Gwapotel Inn” (Overnight stay: P20 a night, P5 a bath) run by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has become a big hit with transients due to safe and decent lodgings. 40,000 transients have registered in the 4-story “hotel” on Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila, since its May 14, 2007 opening. The 710-bed inn, painted in Mr. Fernando's signature pink and blue, posted an average occupancy rate of 73%, or 519 guests daily. The overnighters share a common sleeping area with double-deck beds.[1] Now under the current chairmanship of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, they renovated and upgraded the Gwapotel in 2015, adding more amenities, improvements, and CCTV cameras. Second Gwapotel[edit] On December 23, 2007, Chairman Bayani Fernando announced the building of a 2nd Gwapotel: a 3-story lodging house at Tondo, Manila, in the abandoned 2,800-sq.m. Emmanuel Hospital at Jose Abad Santos St. Renovation started in January 2008, and is expected to be completed by May 1, 2008 (coinciding with Labor Day). [2] Unfortunately, this branch was closed down due to low occupancy, and its facilities were donated to various institutions. The area is now the agency's training barracks. Source:

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Typhoon Haiyan: 1 Year On: 205,000 Families still without Homes

Families are still staying in a tent city that was set up for survivors of the typhoon in Tacloban, which was largely destroyed in November last year. Some 6,300 people died across central Philippines as Super Typhoon Haiyan whipped up the strongest winds ever recorded on land and generated tsunami-like storm surges more than two-storeys high. -- PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 
In a briefing paper, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery defended the pace of reconstruction in the Philippines, saying it has, in fact, been faster than in Banda Aceh in Indonesia, after it was hit by a tsunami in 2004.It said it took two years before Banda Aceh could transition from relief to reconstruction. Most of the rebuilding so far is being done by international aid groups and private foundations, including the Singapore Red Cross, which has raised $12.26 million to fund 87 programmes for some 1.5 million people. Today, Tacloban will mark a year since Haiyan struck with a "candlelight memorial".Thousands are expected to light 24,000 candles along a 24km stretch from the city airport to a memorial park where more than 2,000 of those who died in the city last year were buried.
The powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has declared today a "national day of prayer", instructing all Catholic churches in the archipelago to simultaneously ring their bells at 6pm. A "climate change envoy", meanwhile, will end his one- month, 1,000km march from Manila in Tacloban. Mr Naderev Sano, the Philippine representative to the United Nations' climate change negotiations, and 12 others have been travelling an average of 25km a day since leaving Manila. He made world headlines last year when he fasted during the annual summit in Poland to protest against the lack of meaningful progress on global warming.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Akitek Tenggara's legacy

676 experimental two-storey houses, each with a small garden of 13 square metres, were completed in 1976 by Akitek Tenggara's preeminent Tay Kheng Soon and Chung Meng Ker. It was the result of a critical morphological study into alternatives to high-rise and walk-up apartments at densities of up to plot ratio of 2:1. What Cheras showed is that a plot ratio of 0.68:1 is possible at a cost significantly lower than for medium and high-rise solutions. High-density low-rise can even be attractive given its ground-hugging typology. To date, after nearly 20 years and with minimum maintenance, the project still looks reasonably well-maintained. With its tree-lined roads and paths, and little sign of vandalism, it has matured. It also shows that 144 ground-based dwellings, each with a private garden, can be accommodated for each hectare of land.