The Philippines, as an island territory, is naturally threatened by hurricanes, tropical storms and typhoons that severely affect the less prepared infrastructures, leaving the society in a situation of vulnerability. Our aim with Collapsible Kubo is to use the opportunity of rebuilding these urban structures to, furthermore, propose temporary collapsible shelters that offer a safe place to get through their most basic human needs during the post-emergency phenomena.

As architects, we believe inventiveness acts as a problem-solving shortcut, specially for emergent situations or limited budgets. Collapsible Kubo builds its ground on flexibility. The constructive system intends to express the solidity of its compression base: concrete, and the lightness of its tensile body: timber.

As solid footing, a concrete platform feeds its height with reused rubbish from previous typhoon destructions, responding to diverse height levels according to the flooding risk of each specific town; thus, a mechanism applicable to different barangays throughout.

Then, between the perimeter retaining walls, small storage bunkers can stock bottled water, canned food, and medical-emergency kits; also smaller timber poles, plastic mats and folded tents can be stored for the extending operation.

Above grade, casted rails anchor quartet sets of local-timber poles, connected through X-shaped bracings that guide the extension action; then to potentially seal the lodge, unfolded tents or canvas fabrics can be tied up to wrap around the wooden structure. Knitted recycled plastics could be potentially used to help clean up the island.

Each module is expandable, meaning it offers two scenarios: compressed and extended. When compressed (2.70 x 4.50 x 3.60 meters) regular urban uses such as bus stops, coconut-product sellers, toilettes/public lavatories, and workshop spaces can take place; when extended (7.50 x 4.50 x 3.60 meters) each kubo can host up to 24 beds and each urban furniture transforms into specific shelter functions: cook simple dishes, WC/lavatories, project the news on a wall or just sit around a table.

We firmly believe people can help each other by being in proximity if they are well-organized, and architecture can be the catalyzer. Adverse circumstances reconfigure society, however cooperative responses generate community, encouraging people to convert traumatic experiences into positive social memories.