Melbourne Business Manager Nathan Grigg recently traveled to East Timor accompanying Y2 Architects to the municipality of Lautém. The purpose of the trip was to scope out concept options for a newly proposed Marist school that will provide critical education for 6-18 year olds.  The study will be used to inform the detailed concept phase for the project, providing analysis of services infrastructure, form, materials and construction methods.

The project has been initiated by the Australian Marist Solidarity (AMS), the agency for the aid and development work of the Marist Province of Australia throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands. AMS works with the community to fund projects with the aim of developing locally sustained education opportunities for young people in these regions.  Having previously worked with Y2 Architects on all stages of the Marist campus in Bendigo, the Melbourne team was invited to offer assistance with infrastructure planning and feasibility for the Lautém project.

The 9-hectare site sits on coral and limestone rock so a single-story structure is being proposed to minimise excavation whilst mitigating the effects of earth tremors and strong winds.   Whilst visiting the site the team met with a local builder who has previously worked with the AMS to better understand construction methods and the availability of materials.  During the week the team also visited a local bamboo joinery to learn how they craft the bamboo for furniture and other building fittings.  As a result of the visit, the team is exploring the use of locally sourced Bamboo as a possible structural element.

Date: December 11, 2019