For the last three weeks, we have been indulged with remarkable updates on what has been happening in the progress in the region in terms of the built environment. It was a delight to see how each country has proven that even amid the pandemic all can thrive as a nation and together as a region. For this year 2021, Brunei Darussalam chairs the ASEAN organization, and the theme is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”. It aims to unite the member countries in ensuring the well-being and the quality of life for all their people that will contribute to the sustainability, resilience, and prosperity of the entire region. The theme doesn’t just talk about the diplomatic and economic side but it’s also evident in the architecture and construction sector that the way to offer the people a healthier and more well-rounded living environment is through green and sustainable, affecting not only today’s generation but even beyond, the future generations.
In this article series, updates have been given on nine countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, and Myanmar. If you notice, there’s one more country left, and it’s our very own, the Philippines. Of course, as Filipinos, we wanted to highlight what has been going on in our nation in terms of the built environment and how does the international market recognize the local construction scene. Below are just some of the numerous examples of how local designers and builders respond to the call for tropical modernism, sustainable design, and how to be at the same standard with the international platform.
ET New Manila House, Quezon City, NCR
Finished in 2020, the ET New Manila House in Quezon City is a testament that having a garden oasis type of house can exist in the middle of a crowded city. Lead architects Spencer Sy and Patrick Espiritu from PXP Design Workshop Co had successfully executed what the client had in mind, coming home to a house where he could enjoy a laid-back lifestyle and be able to relax with the family. The landscape and all other green elements are creatively infused inside and out of the house inviting a healthy air circulation within the house spaces. The house is divided into four parts. The north and south quadrants are where the vast garden is and, on the west, and east is the guest house and the main house. All the spaces of the house are strategically placed addressing such present concerns as the site orientation, as it is facing west, and also the issue of privacy as the house is between two townhouses.
The façade shows a second skin made up of vertical timbers that serve as a buffer to deflect the direct heat from the afternoon sun and also acts as a privacy shield as well. The use of different tones of neutral hues of colors white, gray, and black, combined with the natural colors of wood truly highlights the warmth that the indoor and outdoor landscape gives. At the main level of the house, one will be welcomed by a luscious courtyard upon entry. On the left side of the house is the living room which is directly connected to the roof garden. It’s considered a roof garden for below it is the basement parking, which was a bright plan by the architects for the owner to maximize the garden areas at the main level. On the right side of the house is where the kitchen is, the spacious area where the visitors usually lounge around its charming solid wood bar counter. All the private rooms are on the upper floor and the master bedroom does not only have an en-suite walk-in closet, private bathroom, and toilet but also does enjoy an almost 270-degree view of the landscapes being placed between two gardens.
Arthaland Century Pacific Tower, Taguig City, NCR
The Arthaland Century Pacific Tower is one of the country’s jewels in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Completed in 2018, the office tower is designed by the multi-awarded international architectural firm, the SOM architects, which is also in collaboration with another multi-awarded architectural firm, this time the local counterpart, the GF & Partners Architects Co. The 32-story office building houses 21 floors of office space, which includes the two tall executive floors, a large public lobby, a public cafeteria, and multi-level parking. One of its inviting features is the rooftop garden terrace that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the busy area of Fort Bonifacio. The office tower also offers a modern and functional business center catering to the needs for meetings and other events. High-end retail outlets and other retail establishments can also be found on the ground floor and the podium area.
With careful planning and precise injection of the right building systems, Arthaland Century Pacific Tower, was the first building in the world to bag the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Zero Carbon Certification as initiated by the International Finance Corporation. ACPT has been designed in a way that exemplifies sustainable energy performances through reduction of energy use by 45%, water use by 64%, and embodied energy in materials by 34%. The office building was intently designed and constructed to be a premium grade sustainable office and will continue to raise the bar throughout its operational life. “It is the only triple-certified project in our country, having received, in addition to the EDGE Zero Carbon certification, the LEED Platinum rating and BERDE 5-star certification, the highest and most prestigious categories in green building rating standards.” the World Green Building Council says.
Sail Residences, Pasay City, NCR
A new architectural marvel is about to be completed in 2023 as the construction of the new Sail Residences continues despite the danger of the present health scare. The new development is an addition to the premium chain of condominiums built by SM Development Corporation, one of the best developers in the country. Situated within the Mall of Asia Complex, master-planned by the award-winning architectural firm Arquitectonica, Sail Residences envisions future residents to experience a redefined luxury living by providing everything they need within the development – the best shopping, dining, entertainment, and business facilities. The condominium houses a total of 2,829 units with different layouts from 1-bedroom with balcony, 2-bedroom with balcony, and 3-bedroom with balcony. It is also packed with so many amenities gorgeous pools, parks, cabanas, and a lot more for that luxurious and upscale living experience.
The overall design and theme of the development were inspired by the upscale international seaside resorts and luxurious waterfront homes. The prime property also received two prestigious awards from Property Guru Awards as the “Best Condo Architectural Design” and the “Best Landscape Architectural Design” for the year 2020. According to the judges of the said award-giving body, “Sail Residences by SMDC is the embodiment of luxurious waterfront living. Its stunning façade is dominated by garden decks and undulating ledges and is complemented by blue and white tones, all created using locally supplied materials, well-thought-out elements that include a Balinese-inspired clubhouse, pools with a center island and ocean-themed lounge areas.” Developments like Sail Residences validate that Filipinos of today are more than ready for that modern luxury of living without compromising the value of practicality.
The budding architecture in the Philippines and around Southeast Asia countries are undergoing series of transformations in terms of urbanization, innovation, sustainability issues, and socioeconomic development. Showcasing only three updates locally, for now, is actually kind of an understatement for the kind of progress that the architecture and construction industry had been doing. The 4-part series were projected to provide a continuous monologue not only for presenting Southeast Asian design concepts but also for embracing diversity and interracial humanism in architecture within Asia from a global perspective.