Francis Edward Urcia

Title of Master Project: New translations for the Ivatan house: Integrating resilient and sustainable measures for the rebuilding of heritage houses in Itbayat, Batanes


On July 27, 2019, a swarm of 26 moderate to small-sized earthquakes disrupted Itbayat Island in the Batanes province where 978 residential, public building, road, and slope protection structures were totally or partially damaged. This study looked at providing new translations of the vernacular architecture of the Ivatans still popular today. Its purpose, is to integrate (or improve upon) new and resilient design and building methods to help the style adapt to the prevailing hazards of this region and account for potential effects caused by Climate Change in the near future. The study also shows great importance for the architectural community as it highlights pathways for the profession to expand their contributory capacities in disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in the Philippines. While the preservation or restoration of the traditional Ivatan house is preferred, the process of incorporating or retrofitting seismic design is assumed to be costly, invasive, and protracted given the existing conditions of the island. Other options should also be considered as a best-case solution to achieve the goal of maintaining the island’s Ivatan heritage.