Get to know 5 of the most unrivaled #NewPH architects and their advocacies for more sustainable, quality, and groundbreaking structures in the country.
The pandemic that has drawn on for more than a year and has revealed plot holes in the story of the Philippine government. Considering this and the struggles many have gone through, many more Filipinos have taken on social activism and have expounded on the act at higher levels that have helped bring these governing holes to light. And this sits at the core of the #NewPH movement.
Architecture is not exempt from this and might even be more political than art due to its primary function of providing shelter—a de facto human right. Architects then have a big role in politics and in a way that, as politicians should, they are also involved in improving a community’s state of being by incorporating design activism in their practices.
Here are five of the most talked-about #NewPH architects’ vision and their respective backgrounds promoting a better appreciation of the true essence of Filipino designs—one that answers to the needs of Filipinos and continuously evolving and elevating the existing design and generation’s standard.
#NewPH Architect Ed Calma
Architect Ed Calma has been one of the most sought-after architects in the Philippines. Though having established himself in the international architecture landscape when he joined Ellerbe Becket, Peter Pran, and Carlos Zapata—both design principals in New York City, he has found his way back to his motherland. His expertise and kaleidoscopic perspective of design have not only benefited his clients at Eduardo Calma Architecture & Interior Design, but it has also set the standards higher for Filipino Architecture.
Calma is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Columbia University School of Architecture in New York. Though following the footsteps of his father in the field of architecture, he has successfully established his own mark in the industry with Eduardo Calma Architecture & Interior Design. As one of the country’s pioneers of modern architecture, Architect Calma has truly set the precedence in innovating open floor plan concepts, setting him apart from many designers today.
#NewPH Architect Jason Buensalido
Growing up, Ar. Jason Buensalido had a wide range of interests in art like painting, drawing, fashion, and comics. From industrial drafting, he found his passion for drawing that eventually lead him to take up architecture in UST, and after which, a course in Urban Geographies under the Architectural Association Global School in Singapore. In 2006, Buensalido + Architects was established, with a design style that embodied the concept of Modernizing Filipino Architecture.
Today, Buensalido + Architects continues to expand the horizon for Filipinos in architecture—not being limited to our initial perception of what it means, but continuously challenging itself to evolve alongside the needs of the end-users. Buensalido captured the essence of mixing modernism with an appreciation for culture and heritage.
#NewPH Architect Denise De Castro
Contrary to popular belief, women designers are very much prominent in the field. It has become more inclusive over the years. Castro puts this idea best in these words: “In our age of gender fluidity and neutrality, we have to move past the dualities of male and female and acknowledge a larger spectrum. We need to engage all of humanity, in all its forms and permutations, for the equal treatment of all as a global society in the 21st century.” – Ar. Denise De Castro
Ar. Denise De Castro took her interdepartmental liberal arts courses at Wellesley College, and eventually got technical courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She moved forward by taking up her master’s at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Now, Castro runs her firm, DEQA Design Collaborative, becoming one of the admirable and promising women of architecture.
#NewPH Architect Gelo Mañosa
Beyond the extension of his father Bobby Mañosa’s legacy, is Architect Gelo Mañosa’s tenacity and passion to build sustainable structures. He continued on incorporating Filipinos and tradition in his designs, while taking on the challenge to use new materials and technology that will elevate the structure’s sustainability features.
Ar. Gelo Mañosa started his career early at Francisco Mañosa and Partners. From Junior Architect, he then became a Senior Associate and MIS Head. While his father, Francisco Mañosa is well known for Philippine Aesthetic and Traditions, Ar. Gelo Mañosa has continued the legacy of his father by further advocating for green buildings in the Philippines becoming one of the founders of the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC). Today, Mañosa leads Mañosa & Co as CEO, traveling the world to look into sustainable structures and related best practices.
#NewPH Architect Anthony Nazareno
Evidently, Architect Nazareno achieved remarkable status in the industry, most notably in the residences he characterized through his modern influence. Known for his commitment to craft contemporary design solutions with pronounced considerations to sustainability, he and his team, Nazareno+Guerrero Design Consultancy has established their mark to have a huge impact on subsequent generations of modernists in the country.