The B1M Construction Story of the Year Awardee is from the Philippines

November 20, 2021



Catherine D. Ong

The B1M has covered some of construction’s biggest and most impressive projects. Construction Story of the Year was developed in partnership with Bluebeam and its goal is to shine a light on innovative and inspiring projects and initiatives that you might not have heard of. The B1M brand wanted to use its powerful voice to lift them up for the world to see.

Out of 13 finalists from all over the world, the judges were able to narrow it down to three entries and the winner was announced via their Youtube Channel, on a post published on November 11, 2021. The judges were proud to announce that it was WTA Architecture and Design Studio for their emergency quarantine facilities in response to COVID-19.

Photo from The B1M

One quarantine facility consists of a nurses’ station, a 16-room ward, a separate area for applying PPE and a bathroom, and it can be built and ready to use in just five days. This was conceived in the early days of the pandemic, when Manila’s hospitals were issuing memos that they were in full capacity and turning away patients. WTA asked the medical community and armed forces how they could be of service.

The studio’s Emergency Quarantine Facilities, or ECFs, are a simple, scalable solution to the lack of hospital beds. They can be erected by a team of just 18-20 workers, made from easily built wood frames and polythylene sheets and are immediately usable the day after construction.

Photo from WTA Architecture and Design Studio

The first of these facilities was completed on April 1, 2020 at the Manila Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio and was a success. Some of these facilities were also used as temporary resting stations of front liners or emergency surgery rooms.

Architect William Ti, Jr. on his video interview with The B1M

The most admirable thing about this project was that the plans can be accessible to anyone and anywhere. The concept was even adapted by other countries. Architect William Ti, Jr. has this to say, “Because the Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands so the best way to reach the other islands was by making the plans open source and then forming like a technical working group to help them out. Some of our friends in Singapore were able to pick up the idea and build another 3,000 beds over there.”

Photo from WTA Architecture and Design Studio

You may check out The B1M’s Youtube Channel for the full interview of Architect William Ti, Jr.

Such a worthy project at these trying times, and it definitely deserves to win the Construction Story of the Year. It is humbling and inspiring, proving that architecture has a vital role to play in society during a human-scale crisis. WTA Architecture and Design Studio delivered a facility that could save people’s lives, made the plans open source and gave anyone in the world accessibility and the facility could be built immediately.

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