The bamboo houses of the Philippines

Meet the architect reviving a classic Filipino building aesthetic – and another whose ultra-modern design turns balconies into typhoon-ready rafts.

It looks shockingly exposed to the elements, but that is by design. The bamboo house, a form that architect Rosario Encarnacion Tan says is “in the DNA” of Filipino life, is strategically open so that high winds from the typhoons that hit the Philippines each year can pass right through. A lack of resistance means a reduced chance of complete destruction, while replacing dislodged bamboo is relatively simple. Sometimes older solutions to ongoing challenges are the best.

For a more modern response to the nearly 20 typhoons that hit the Philippines each year, architect Jason Buensalido created an apartment complex where each balcony has a springy floor that can become a raft for inhabitants to use to paddle to shelter.

Click on the play button above to start the video and learn more.

Jason Lai is a musician and conductor in Singapore. His interest in Asia’s arts and cultural scene goes beyond music to the very core of what it reveals about the heart and soul of these countries.

Episode Three of Heart of the Philippines screens on Friday 18 May 0655GMT and again at 0755GMT, 1155GMT, 1250GMT, 1350GMT, 1455GMT and 1655GMT on BBC World News.

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