Survey of Historical Buildings in the Philippines
From February 18th to 24th, OUS faculty members and students visited the Philippines to survey historic buildings with faculty and students from Mapúa University. Two of the survey's objectives were to study various styles of historic houses and explore the possibility of transferring restoration techniques by investigating traces of wooden architecture developed in Japan. The survey was made possible by the OUS Research Promotion Project. Three faculty members and four students from the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering visited churches, historical sites, museums, and Pila, Laguna Province, which still retains its Spanish colonial-era streetscape in and around Manila.
In previous surveys of historical houses in Fiji, the Center investigated and researched the development of "colonial style verandas," built around the perimeter of buildings, as in the former Glover residence in Nagasaki. This survey confirmed that structures of this style still exist in the Philippines, and there is an expectation that the route of the spread of the same type to Japan will become identifiable in the future. The survey also confirmed that restoration techniques Dr. Tsuguto Ezura and his team developed could apply to the wooden part of the "Bahay Na Bato," a stone house with a stone first floor and a wooden second floor, which developed under Spanish rule.
Mapúa University students visited OUS last December to study Japanese architectural survey techniques developed by Dr. Ezura, which they used to survey local houses with OUS students jointly. It was the first time the two universities conducted a research project. Mapúa University President, Reynaldo Vea, expressed his anticipation of the project's results.
Dr. Ezura, the OUS faculty supervising the research, emphasized the outcome saying, "We found that the Japanese trace restoration technique is highly effective in restoring historic houses in the Philippines. We are confident that this technique will be useful for subsequent studies of historic houses here." He plans to revisit the Philippines this year to conduct more detailed research in collaboration with Mapúa University.