Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte

Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, was one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record. It made landfall on November 8, 2013. The province of Leyte was among the hardest-hit areas. The Seminary of Palo, a few kilometers south of Tacloban and less than three kilometers from the shoreline was badly damaged by the typhoon and it’s accompanying storm surge that reached over 2 meters high.

Rev. Fr. Alvin Nicolasora of the Diocese of Palo and Rev. Fr. Gil Manaog of the St John the Evangelist Diocesan Seminary of Palo requested the assistance of Asian Architects in designing the seminary buildings that had been damaged. Asian Architects had designed the seminary chapel some years earlier. We undertook the design of the Seminary Facilities under our Corporate Social Responsibility program.

P104083012We designed two new structures to replace those that had been severely damaged. We also designed a new Archbishop’s chapel because the former chapel was totally blown away, due to its location at a promontory.

The design of the new seminary building (above) keeps the entire ground floor on an open plan.  The objective is to allow any future storm surge wave forces to flow through the open plan thus dissipating the energy. There are no large wall expanses to absorb the impact of the potentially destructive wave forces.

The new Chapel of the Archibishop is designed to incorporate the same principle of a flow-through layout to minimize barriers to wave energy that can potentially severely damage large wall expanses.  The entire length of the longitudinal bays is also open for cross ventilation. The roofing edge terminations, the most vulnerable part of the roofing system, is protected on all sides with continuous parapets to counteract strong wind uplift forces.  The objective of this design approach is to prevent the tearing up the roofing sheets which experience has shown, begin from the roof system edges.