Australian and New Zealand firms design a structure for remote areas of the Philippines.
When a mining consortium in the Philippines desired a mobile resource and information center for remote villages, it turned to Bedouin Freeform Tents and Stretch Marquees and Flexible Fabric Structures, both of Balgowlah, Australia, and Fabric Structure Systems of Whangarei, New Zealand, to partner for the perfect solution.
Designers faced two major challenges: The first was to provide an easily transportable, lightweight and robust structure that could weather extreme tropical conditions. The second was to ensure the structure was welcoming to communities that had little or no Western exposure, while being easy to install without any special tools by local, nonskilled labor.
“Both challenges were overcome by intelligent design and careful selection and use of the most suitable modern materials,” says Stuart Johnstone of Stretch Marquees and Flexible Fabric Structures.
At 15 by 7.5 meters, the structure incorporates an integrated cassette wooden flooring system and lightweight steel frame. An Alucabond® internal wall paneling system allows the interior to be divided into meeting areas.
“The stretch nature of the Bedouinflex™ fabric used provided a soft and inviting space that had the very important advantage of dampening the noise impact of the environmental challenges of the heavy tropical rain and strong winds in the region,” Johnstone says.
An additional concern was security, due to the value of the electronic and educational display systems the structure contains.
“It was to travel through a very broad region with a high level of poverty and both petty crime and more serious political unrest,” says Johnstone. “The Alucabond walling system not only provided an aesthetic and robust system for supporting the LCD screens and educational displays, but also ensured the structure could be locked up at night and secured.”