Considered the center of architecture in the Philippines, Puerta del Parian in Intramuros was the site of the Anthology Architecture and Design Festival Manila 2017.
Over 60 leading architects and designers participated in various activities and exhibits that comprised the festival. Of the impressive line-up of keynote speakers, Julien de Smedt of JDS Architects lectured on “How Low Tech Behavior Can Be the Solution for the Cities of Tomorrow;” Patrick Bruce of the Oval Partnership on “Creating Spaces for People;” and Stephen Pimbley of Spark Architects on “Spaces as They Might Be.”
Highlighting the unique celebration was a live student design competition titled “Context and Intent,” featuring representatives from 10 of the country’s leading architecture schools.
Organizer William Ti Jr. of WTA Architecture + Design Studio told The Sunday Times Magazine a trip to Germany inspired him to organize Anthology.
“We have our own design, distinct from other counties and cultures, which can be seen in the edifices and structures around Intramuros. It is precisely for this reason that I believe Intramuros is the perfect venue for this endeavor,” he said, adding that the fair debuted in front of the Manila Cathedral and Plaza del Gobernador (Comelec office) in 2016.
“The festival is a platform for promoting awareness about architecture and the role that it plays in our society. It is a festival that promotes the development of Philippine architecture and design by providing an exciting new channel for sharing and dialogues between various stakeholders,” he explained.
Meanwhile, one of WTA Architecture + Design Studio’s projects, The Book Stop pop-up library, just won the the Jury and Popular Choice Award for the Institutional-Libraries Typology as the Best Library Design of 2017 at the Architizer A+Awards held in New York.
The competition included entries from some of the world’s leading architecture firms like the Chicago Public Library by SOM and the Salisbury University Academic Commons by Sasaki. The winners were announced on April 11 and the awards gala was held on May 11.
The Book Stop is a pop-up public library that has been going around Metro Manila over the past year after debuting at the Dia del Libro on April 23, 2016 at the Ayala Triangle in Makati City. It has since been to the Plaza de Roma in Intramuros, San Sebastian Church in Quiapo, Molito mall in Alabang, and the Quezon Memorial in Quezon City. The 12-square meter library is currently the busiest library in the country generating over 10 times more foot traffic and book turnover than the typical municipal public library. It has thus facilitated the sharing of over 30,000 books since it began its operations.
“This award shows that Philippine architects can compete with the best architects in the world,” said Ti.
The Book Stop promotes reading, sharing and honesty by providing completely barrier-free access to everyone. It further shows how architecture can be used to improve city living with creative thinking, and change the way people interact with buildings around them.
Anthology Festival Manila will return to Intramuros on January 2018 with more events and activities, aimed to engage the country’s leading architects to make Manila the center for architecture in the region.
BY ARLO CUSTODIO