CUBO is a system of Modular Bamboo Homes that respond to Manila's housing crisis

April 4, 2019


Earl Patrick Forlales, a 23-year-old from Manila, has designed a system of low-cost modular residences to help solve housing problems in the Philippines. inspired by the materials used on his grandparent’s rural home, Forlales explored the potential of bamboo, and, although the scheme has been designed for low-income communities in Manila, the ideas behind it can be applied to any city where bamboo can be grown — including most of Southeast Asia and parts of Africa and Latin America.


As a result of the simple modular design and cheap materials, the houses can be constructed in just four hours at a cost of only P4,115.31 per square meter. meanwhile, homes can be join together so that residents can take advantage of communal kitchens, bathrooms, or offices, and foster a sense of community. based on current forecasts, the units would be able to rent for P13.72 per day, which means each unit would turn a profit within 5.1 years. the cost of P13.72 per day also represents a significant saving over existing alternatives available in Manila, and makes the unit affordable for even the city’s lowest paid workers.



From a design perspective, tilted roofs capture rainwater and reduce heat gain, while elevated stilts prevent floodwaters from entering the home. forlales has also developed a business plan that will provide local people with not just housing, but new skills, jobs and community space. he also proposes raising money for the project by selling waste plastic to factories.



CUBO recently won the RICS cities for our future competition, which will fund forlales’ development of the project in 2019. the contest called on young designers to respond to the pressing themes of rapid urbanization, climate change, and resource scarcity. ‘this is a huge step forward to helping the people of manila,’ said forlales on winning the competition. ‘the state of housing in the city is at crisis point, and will undoubtedly get worse with this new influx of workers. CUBO started as nothing more than an idea, conceived while spending time at my grandparent’s house — it is incredible to think that it now will become a reality.’



The modular solution uses locally sourced bamboo





A unit can be constructed within 4 hours





The scheme’s potential configuration










From:  designboom 




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