CAZA Architects - Stronghouse Prototype, an highly economical, customizable kit-of-parts
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Stronghouse Prototype, an highly economical, customizable kit-of-parts

CAZA Architects

Housing  /  Future
CAZA Architects
CAZA partnered with the Stronghouse Foundation—the first crowdsourced housing charity in Southeast Asia—to develop single family and multi-family affordable housing prototypes for rural communities in the Philippines.

The single family prototype is first being implemented in the Camarines Sur province before being rolled out across the Philippines. CAZA studied the relationship of the site to the surrounding infrastructure and available public resources, determining what needs could best be served at the level of the community and designing prototypes that addressed them.

The design specifically addresses two of the most pressing challenges facing rural communities in the Philippines: the lack of functioning ventilation and sewage systems. Each year, a large number of fatalities in this region are caused by cooking fume inhalation and illnesses from poor sanitation. Both single and multi-family prototypes include the equipment required for water and ventilation systems, as well as the mechanisms for integrating water-lines across units to build community-wide sewage infrastructure.

The prototype consists of a highly economical, customizable kit-of-parts that can be easily modified for families of varying needs. It makes use of a simple concrete structural system with metal roofing, allowing the prototype to be built quickly, and with local labor. With Arup as engineering partner, we fine-tuned the prototype to be cost effective, storm-resistant structures that take into account the connection points between the wall and roof. The structure is also engineered for ventilation and passive cooling through clear story windows and a large garage opening.

The multi-family version can be flexibly partitioned, such that units can be used as sleeping quarters, or combined into larger public facilities. More than just providing basic living environments, this allows the prototypes to be combined into communities with shared water infrastructure, public space, and recreation areas. As a result, this kit-of-parts system can provide the critical infrastructure needed for healthy communities.


 Camarines Sur,
 Stronghouse Foundation
 60.71 mq
 CAZA Architects
 Carlos Arnaiz, Alden Ching, Kate Sarmiento, Edmond Asis, Christy Eunice Reyes, Aladdin Ucol
 Solid Builders Inc.
 Engr. Egie Orbita
 Sourced materials through the contractor


CAZA (Carlos Arnaiz Architects) is a Brooklyn-based design studio, workshop, and think tank with offices in Manila, Philippines, and Bogotá, Colombia. Our team consists of design professionals from around the world who envision an optimistic future for architectural thinking and informed experimentation. A collaborative office as committed to building as to the ideas that inform building, we believe that innovation inspires trust. Whether designing a bespoke residence, creating a master plan for a vibrant urban center, or rethinking how we work through an office building, we believe breakthroughs transform material culture into social expression. Our work represents an engagement with the history of making buildings and placing them in complex dynamic environments.

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