Ayala Museum Weaves Magic Into a Newly Renovated Building - BluPrint

Ayala Museum Weaves Magic Into a Newly Renovated Building

May 11, 2022



Micah Mongcal


After more than two years in renovation, the Ayala Museum reopened in December 2021. The design team, led by Leandro V. Locsin Partners, was tasked to reimagine the original building. Refurbished galleries house the museum’s treasured classics as well as contemporary collections, linking the past to the present. The team’s inclusion of Japan-based architect Taku Shimizu ensured a multicultural approach to the new lobby’s design, while a group of young designers brought a stunningly fresh and fun perspective to the Filipinas Heritage Library on the museum’s sixth floor.

Ayala Museum

The new building is brightly lit, spacious, and designed for versatility. Its six floors consist of an expansive, inviting lobby on the ground floor, the galleries, and the Filipinas Heritage Library on the sixth floor. The renovation is part of a five-year plan to upgrade the museum’s facilities, and enhance its programming with the use of digital technology to reach new audiences onsite, online, and offsite.

Conceptually, the design of the new lobby seeks to preserve its former role as a mediating, transitional space between the two flanking main structures of the museum. While a new glass wall provides enclosure on the street corner side, the lobby retains the potential to transform into a semi-outdoor space with movable glass walls that open out to the lush, quiet garden side. “This opening allows the inside to spill out, or the outside to spill in… depending on your perspective,” says Gustilo.  


One of its technological advancements includes the creation of the Filipinas Heritage Library as a one-stop electronic resource about the country and its people. The library’s overhaul by Studio Ong includes diverse seating options, ingenious storage solutions, private listening booths for the library’s vinyl records, and many other features that will appeal to lovers of arts and culture at any age.  

Ayala Museum holds firm to its commitment to adapt to the inevitable changes that face society at any given time. The currents of diversity and inclusivity flow through its organizational culture, as well as its physical structure, where the sizable collections are arranged in an accessible and intuitive format. A very human warmth underlies the polish and elegance we’ve come to associate with the Ayala Museum’s prestige, where art has always been democratized.

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Photo credits: Ed Simon