CAZA’s new CamSur Capitol inspired by Pili and Mt. Isarog
The iconic CamSur Capitol building is "nut" your usual government edifice
June 20, 2018
CamSur governor Migz Villafuerte welcomed guests today at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City with a rundown of memorable images from our history and different landscapes of the world’s key cities. “Experience has taught us to never underestimate the power of a symbol, image, or iconic structure,” he stressed. It was this in mind when the provincial government of Camarines Sur undertook the building of a new CamSur Capitol with CAZA as their lead architect.
“When we started this project, we were inspired by what can a building be for a government: a symbol, a machine for efficiency, a showcase of transparency, and, in a way, a mirror of what a community can be. It is no secret that the Philippines is having a wonderful economic moment. So how can a building help us pivot and represent who we are?” CAZA principal Carlos Arnaiz shared.
The design is a spiraling assembly of Pili-nut-shaped volumes that appear like a mountain from the horizon and a starburst from the sky. Pili, a tear-shaped buttery nut indigenous to the Bicol region, is a key product of CamSur and the name of its capital city.
The “husk” of each volume is a metal sunscreen protecting the building interior from the intense tropical sun. This skin will be a combination of metal mesh and bronze aluminium louvers. The encased volumes create as series of shaded terraces.
The spiral organization of masses produces an open-air atrium at the center of the building with a dramatic helicoid ramp terminating at the Mt. Isarog viewing deck.
The CamSur Capitol will have four levels. The first has a covered parking, drop-off and service areas with connections to the building through a system of vertical circulation cores. The second is a multi-purpose lobby plinth crowned by an open-air atrium. Administrative offices will be on the third floor. Lastly, the fourth floor will have the governor’s quarters as well as a viewing deck with a panorama of Mt. Isarog, as the capitol is on axis with the mountain.
The new capitol will sit in the middle of a public park with palm tree promenades, fountains, and a Pili grove. A network of paths and roads will provide entry points into the building for different users: a grand staircase for the public, a lobby plinth for staff, and smaller ramps that lead out to the park.
The CamSur Capitol builds on what is endemic in order to propel the province into a future of technological advancement, environmental sustainability, and civic engagement. With a footprint of a little over 2500 square meters, it will be located between the Pan-Philippine Highway and the CamSur Watersports Complex. “We wanted to edifice to reflect our commitment to sustainable development, passion to be world-class, and our desire to stay true to the roots of the province,” Villafuerte added.