Inspired by sails, a symbol of Mindanao's seafaring culture, the Currents for Currents houses have aerodynamic forms that can withstand high winds.


Currents for Currents wins grand prize for Architecture for the Sea

The ingenious proposal harvests energy and houses indigenous coastal communities in Mindanao

  • January 22, 2018

Currents for Currents, a design concept by Deo Alam and 228 Design Studio, won the grand prize for “Innovation and Architecture for the Sea” at the Jacques Rougerie Foundation Awards last 18 January 2018 in Paris.

The proposal aims to fulfill the need for reliable electrical power infrastructure in Mindanao and make coastal communities more resilient in the midst of typhoons and rising sea levels. Mindful of imposing modern technology on the deeply rooted, old-world cultures, the team based the Currents for Currents housing design and site plans on the current dwellings of the Tausug, Samal, and Badjao tribes.

By controlling a rig inside, homeowners can pivot their homes in the direction that maximizes air inflow or offers the least resistance to gale winds.
With no partitions, the floors are spacious and free-flowing, as seen in the 73-square-meter second floor where the living and dining areas overlap. The houses are designed to have vertical hydroponic gardens.

Each structure is anchored to the seabed by a column on which water turbines are attached—a year 2050 version of a house on stilts. The houses are clustered along the coast with their power collection interlinked so they can produce electricity for the whole community. Excess power can be sold to power-plants to be redistributed to nearby cities, providing the fisher-folk an alternative means of income.

Cylindrical turbines will be used for shallow water, and propeller-type turbines for deeper water.

Deo Alam, who represented the team at the awards, shared with BluPrint a recap of his panel defense: “I told them the beauty of the project lies in the idea that small indigenous communities will benefit the most. That there is so much designers can learn from the old-world and we should not allow technological advancement to override our humanity.”

YOU MIGHT LIKE  Design Better Extended: Better views of the Lenten parade from the Baliuag Plaza

“One of the jurors commented the project balanced beauty and function, and that it was feasible to build in a few years’ time,” Alam added.

Currents for Currents grand prix 2017
Photo courtesy of Deo Alam
Via twitter.com/SophieSidos | An update from Sophie Sidos, president of Fondation Louis Vicat

Jacques Rougerie Foundation – Institut de France is a non-profit organization dedicated to architectural innovation and sustainable development for the ocean and outer space. Since 2011, the foundation has organized an International Architecture Competition to promote the development of highly innovative and promising projects.