Cagbalete Sand Clusters creates a new sustainable typology for eco-tourism, which revolves around farming and fishery.
The project is a dynamic space for both its inhabitants and visiting tourists. This intermingling is vital to the Filipinos as a country of 7641 islands, each with its own distinct cultural and natural identities.
The project integrates the programmatic and cultural context of its locale into the architecture, pre-fabricated set of parts that can grow horizontally or vertically.
The client wanted to create farm lots in a 3.8-ha (9-acre) property in Cagbalete Island, Quezon province. With a radial site development, a hyperbolic cluster unit system is created that was largely inspired by corals, given the location’s rich marine life and biodiversity.
The resulting structure is a mixed-use development: a private family home and a farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on the use of endemic plant species and seasonal mud crab farming. One of the considerations is mud-crab farming can help prevent soil erosion, and the activity can also help protect the existing biodynamic mangroves in the area. Hapa nets were introduced into the design as a kind of membrane that gets mixed with local sand, soil, and mud, resulting in a new patina. The hapa nets also function as a ‘veil’ over the structure, a translucent skin that masks sun and rain, but also serves as informal sleeping areas (mosquito beds) for afternoon siestas.
The project envisions a farm-leisure community where electricity is produced from solar umbrella pods, and where the spaces utilize natural ventilation. At night, the development shines and transforms into a glowing, plankton-like space with multi-level galleries, performance spaces, and lighthouse functionality.