Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 National Architectural Thesis Competition - Entry No. 09

Quirino Province is situated in the Region Two of the Philippines. It is awed for its natural scenic spots like giant caves, waterfalls, rock formation, rivers and many more. However, these places aren’t famous and developed. With the kind of lifestyle people have there, most of them prefer not to touch the natural spots and just patronize them the usual way. It might appear nice that they value culture, outmoded lifestyle and natural beauty, nonetheless, they’re not prospering while doing such. If they are, still not in an efficient or effective way of living. Most people in the world tend to use their resources for urbanization and prosperity. This is the challenge Quirinians are facing right now. It is good to be informed that Quirino Tourism Development is already on the run for progress. Tourism Programs are spearheaded by the Administration Government themselves, particularly the Governor. They reach out to places that are undeveloped but have potential characteristics and turn them into income-generating areas. Outskirt developments need to transpire to invite market and lure investors into town. One big step in transforming a municipality into a city is building rural areas into potential ones which could be a great help in stabilizing or uplifting the place to become a famous one.The researcher then considered QuirinoProvince as the most ideal place to propose a feasible project. Eventually, developing the hot springs of Barangay Eden is the chosen project. Realizing the market it could make and the contribution it can give, the feasibility studyentitled “QuirinoLifesprings: A Wellness Center Development” took matter. This proposed development is located in Barangay Eden, Cabarroguis, Quirino which is 7 kilometers away from the heart of the town. The area for development is 5.7 hectares with an estimated budget of PhP 260,000,000.oo and a project duration that will last for 3 years. The estimated ROI will start on the 8th year from the year of its first operation. Highest portion of the site is in the entrance, the lowest portion is nearby the river but there is the presence of a natural barrier like a dam protecting the cornfields from flood in case the river outflows.This future development is in collaboration with the Provincial Tourism Agency conducting transformations of different potential areas for vast tourism.The project satisfies the needs of prospective visitors, considering the aura it portrays and the effects of it on their lifestyle. Other resorts tend to be more attractive and elegant, but thing they lack is the understanding of what a resort really is.This project aims to present a feasible proposal that will transform people’s life in all aspects: physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.The study aimed to achieve tourism success to heighten up financial stability and develop a good name for the province.In addition, this project aimed to lure Quirinians to patronize their own beautiful resorts. 
Certain projects are to be implemented in the site that are environment friendly. Regarding environment friendliness, integrating sustainable development and making people aware of the importance of proper utilization of natural resources are one of the aims. In addition, coming to know that the endangered soft-shelled turtles or the “cagots” reside in the river nearby, the researcher implements the Cagot Care Project which aims to foster notice and consciousness of marine life. Under and within the perimeters of the viewing dock is the proposed rehabilitation area for this endangered turtles.Another objective of this study regards to corporate social responsibility. The presence of the organic farm and diner explains it. Local farmers of fruits and vegetables found within the perimeters will provide and serve the diner regularly. That will help them prosper as well.  Moreover, the wellness center will welcome aspiring young graduates of the region to learn management and sustainability from them. The wellness center will be able to give help to local community initiatives and opportunities to local commerce.
Eventually, certain design concepts were taken into consideration and integrated such as Sustainable and Tropical Architecture, Universal Design and Building Automation. The researcher also took into consideration the identity of the nation through his philosophy: “Prioritizing the integration of the identity of Filipino Architecture.”This doesn’t decline or disregard international movements in Architecture, however just minimizing their philosophies to be integrated. Minimizing these modern architectural movements just aims to avoid people from degrading their own identity ending up to totally rejecting them. This prioritization of our own architecture will help encourage developers and designers to do same.Minimalism will still be reflected in the interior designs of all buildings inside the site. However, the Filipino identity will be reflected on the exteriors and functions of each building.Further regardsfor aesthetics and function, the form concept chosen is the stilt house. Vernacular architecture implies utilization of local materials which definitely would mean constant maintenance for short period of time, say a year for maintaining thatch roofs. Therefore, the researcher adopted the form concept however transforming it into a tropical and neo- vernacular one which implies the usage of modern sustainable materials.
The physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of the users were then considered on every facilities present on the development to nurture and transform the patrons completely. Referring to the site development plan:
WELLNESS BUILDING. Adjacent to the right front of the service is the wellness building where parlor, massage sections, sauna rooms, reflexology, body treatments and many more are housed in one roof. This is the first unique feature of the wellness center.
RESORT DEVELOPMENT AREA. There will be the widening of the hot springs to benefit more of it. Hot spring tubs are installed to cater a maximum of 8 persons each. Two hot spring pools are also built, of which one pool is intended for the water aerobic activity. In addition, public swimming pools with Jacuzzi are also present.
ORGANIC FARM AND DINER. With regards to food discipline or healthy diet, the idea of an organic farm and diner is considered. The diner has two entrances, one that can be accessed by the wellness and resort goers, and the other one is for short- staying occupants i.e. those who only visit the site just to have a taste of the organic foods. This is the greatest feature of the wellness center.
STANDARD ACCOMMODATION COTTAGES. Northeastern portion of the lot is where the accommodation for wellness occupants is located. A clustered- type of housing on stilts can accommodate a maximum of two persons per unit. There are twenty- five (25) units available.
EXCLUSIVE ACCOMMODATION COTTAGES. These cottages are exclusively intended for those who want to stay nearby waters. These cottages are stilted in the Addalem River and are more ventilated. Each cottage can accommodate a family of 3 members, 5 maximum. It has balcony, kitchen, dining and two bedrooms.
ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. This is the busiest part of the site since it will welcome all visitors and patrons. This is the core of the wellness center. The building comprises of three ticketing booths, one control monitoring room, a separate check-in area for wellness patrons, an accounting office, employees’ sections, a viewing deck, a cafeteria, souvenir shop, the manager’s office and the engineering as well. The Control monitoring room will be intended for the building automation and centralization. For windows, capiz shells were used to retain Filipino identity as well as the post and lintel construction. The parking area can occupy 133 vehicles for public, 34 slots for the staffs and allotted 6 slots exclusively for the big service trucks and e-jeepneys. There is also e-cart parking area on the rear of the admin building to cater or deliver persons with disabilities. In addition, regarding universal designs, way-finding directories were installed in every ways and rotundas, with words for color blinds and colors and drawings for “no read no write” people, and lastly ramps and railings for the handicapped. 
THE LIFESPRING CLINIC. The check-out section for wellness users is housed here to avoid traffic in the admin building. Documentation and transfer of files won’t be a hassle with the help of building automation. The Clinic is naturally ventilated. Regarding circulation, after the wellness patient checks in, he/ she will have to visit the clinic for consultation and health monitoring. Thereafter, he or she can already go to facilities that are best to suit his/ her needs.
THE FUNCTION COTTAGES. All elevated, the function cottages are located at the rear most part of the admin building, basically northwest part of the organic diner. The Cottages are acoustically treated. Solar panels were integrated on the walkways.  
SUPPORTING FACILITIES. There are two service facilities that are respectively meant to cater both sides of it. This building is elevated by concrete slabs for flood prevention. It houses the maintenance facilities, control room and waste-water pump for drainage and a lounge for the employees. In addition to physical and spiritual healing, walking trails, trauma/ tension exercise and yoga pavilions are located on the adjacent portion near the wellness. There is the outdoor court which is sheltered so it can cater or accommodate social gatherings if needed.
To finish, certain visible conclusions were stated below:
The architectural solutions of the wellness center showed that it is certainly aesthetically functional, sustainable and is definitely an ideal outlet for life discipline and longevity, recreation while enjoying nature. Building automation system and green architecture principles are properly applied to the buildings designed, with environmental considerations being observed, making it a friendly and smart, secured and preserved place.  The Rehabilitation of the endangered soft-shelled turtles is the prime example of being eco- friendly. The Organic Farm and Diner would contribute greatly to the means of living of the rural people in the area. Proven to be financially viable, the project is envisioned to become an integral part of the province’s tourism and economic prosperity.


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