We at Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group, Inc. are privileged to be working hand in hand with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in several projects, namely: the College of Human Ecology Building, the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Building, and the Agricultural Systems Institute and Institute of Crop Science Innovations Building. The projects’ main objective is to enhance the academic experience of students through innovative educational facilities.
College of Human Ecology Building
The College of Human Ecology (CHE) is one of the few colleges that offer BS Human Ecology in Southeast Asia. It is home to three major departments and one institute: the Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning (DCERP), the Department of Human and Family Development Studies (DHFDS), the Department of Social Development Services (DSDS), and the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food (IHNF) offering BS Nutrition.
Since its establishment, CHE was housed in the 1919 heritage building within UPLB, which was formerly the Entomology Building of the university. In-house and incremental renovations were made to adjust to the changing number of faculty members, students, and major degree offerings. But with a growing student population and burgeoning local and international research and extension programs, there is a need to expand and provide modern, state-of-the-art facilities housed in a sustainable, green, and future-proof building.
In line with UPLB’s vision for the project, Palafox is committed to fulfilling the project scope and objectives such as designing a world-class facility that addresses the needs of the institute and providing modern and sustainable academic support, research, and extension facilities.
The proposed CHE building will include lecture and laboratory classrooms, computer rooms, research rooms, faculty offices, administrative offices, seminar and meeting rooms, research and extension offices, a nutrition and wellness clinic, a learning-service café, a roof deck with provision for solar applications and rainwater collection systems, and other support services. It will foster a teaching-learning environment that is both supportive and productive, which will enable creative and collaborative work among students, faculty, and researchers.
The new six-storey CHE building will showcase sustainability and incorporate green building design principles and the democratization of spaces, which will allow a more dynamic use of rooms and facilities that are sensitive to the needs of various sectors including children, the elderly, lactating or pregnant women, persons with exceptionalities, and persons with disabilities.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Building
Since the transfer of the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to the Los Baños Campus, the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (DVCS) is currently the only department without its own permanent and designated classrooms, laboratory facility, or faculty room even though the department is the largest in terms of faculty and teaching load among the college’s three departments.
Our country requires further research in understanding the association of animals and diseases such as COVID-19, Bird Flu, and African Swine Fever. This further highlights the need to upgrade the department’s facilities.
The objective of the project is to provide academic and research facilities for the DVCS. With the ever-increasing demand for proficiency and specialization in the various fields of veterinary medicine, it is important to update and modernize the different classrooms, laboratories, and diagnostic and research facilities.
Palafox has committed to render services to develop a complete learning environment with both formal and non-formal learning spaces designed to enhance the academic experience. The new building will be designed to be a conducive learning environment that promotes independent learning. Spaces will be provided to cater to the students’ needs in terms of gaining firsthand experience in clinical case management and skill development to equip them for the challenges they may face in their professional practice.
Agricultural Systems Institute and Institute of Crop Science Innovations Building
The proposed Agricultural Systems Institute (ASI) and Institute of Crop Science (ICrops) are two of the academic industries of the restructured College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS). Following its restructuring, the establishment of state-of-the-art specialized research and instruction facilities is critical in achieving their vision and fulfilling their mandate of instruction, research, and public service.
Palafox is committed to working closely with UPLB in establishing a state-of-the-art, five-storey college building that will provide students with high-quality laboratories complete with specialized equipment. It is envisioned to be a student-centered learning environment focused on supporting and strengthening the academic culture of the research university. The new institute will help enrich the learning experience of students, faculty, research staff, and international collaborators by providing modern research and instruction facilities that reflect the global standard.
We at Palafox are grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with UPLB in designing these educational facilities that will mold and equip our country’s brightest to excel in their different fields.
Image Source: UPLB