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MANILA | Cultural District of Manila [pro]

9794 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  iamjst
Architecture firm envisions cultural district centered on the Met

The creation of a cultural district in downtown Manila centered on the rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Theater, more commonly known as the Met, was proposed by WTA Architecture and Design Studio, an architecture firm focused on urban development projects.

Just in time for the initial conservation work on the 85-year-old Art Deco structure, the proposal seeks to connect the Met to the various unique features and attractions in the district to create a stronger centrality and culturally intense lifestyle node.

“The plan allows for a place that is not socially segregated and gives Manila a core which can attract more organized and gentrified development and planning,” said William Ti, principal architect of WTA Architecture and Design Studio. “This is ideal as a cultural hub because of the nostalgic and symbolic value that the existing structures still have.”

Complemented by an array of cafés, dining and retail spaces, the Met will serve as the anchor of the district. Arcaded walkways will surround the establishments arranged around the courtyard on the ground level.

Included in the district

The cultural district will also include the repurposing of other notable buildings and areas in Manila, the Park N’ Ride Building, the old Nawasa (National Water and Sewerage Authority) building, the rehabilitation of the Mehan Garden and the redevelopment of the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) building into a lifestyle mall.

The proposal, posted on WTA’s Facebook page, has gained much online attention with almost 300 shares and 20,000 hits. Netizens expressed strong approval and support for the plan. Some even added suggestions that can be integrated to address the city’s many problems.

When asked what the chances are of this plan being implemented, WTA stated in the comment threads that they are hoping for the best, especially since the plan can be incorporated into the recently commenced rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Theater. “This study was originally commissioned by a client of ours.” according to the comment. “Hopefully the city government will find some points in this idea that they can implement or this at least gets them to start thinking.”


On the question of sustainability, WTA asked back through another Facebook comment, ” Is it too hard to imagine a redevelopment that pays for itself?” It indicated that the idea was for the proposal to be viable by paying itself back through the commercialization of the Park N’ Ride building.

WTA Architecture and Design Studio, established in 2007, is composed of about 100 architects and designers working on over 300 projects in different stages of development all over the country. It is also one of the top 10 architectural firms in the Philippines for 2015 as cited by BCI Asia. The firm is actively involved in various global architecture programs, including the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and the 2015 World Architecture Festival.

With the firm being an advocate for better livable urban communities, WTA articulated the importance of the role of architects and planners.

Ti concluded: “In the end, we must decide what kind of cities we would like to live in and make it so. Giving up on Manila, after all, is not an option for us, just as we believe that’s why we are here giving our ideas in hopes of getting things to change.”
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Well..its nice project, but election seasons is here, I remain doubtful. I remember Mayor Lim also presented a township plan before an election season. But I still hope for the best for Manila. another hope...thanks for that info.
ang hirap nyan kapag naging mayor si alfredo lim uli, he has a track record of discontinuing projects of previous administration. kawawa ang manila, laging merong new projects involving taxpayers money then only to be torn down by a new mayor of an a-hole
Huwag na gawing mall yung gsis building pag natuloy dagdag lang sa trapik iyon.
Yung nabasa ko yung title at my word na "envisions" binabaan ko na agad expectations ko na matutuloy. pero hopefully matuloy.
Yung nabasa ko yung title at my word na "envisions" binabaan ko na agad expectations ko na matutuloy. pero hopefully matuloy.
haha lol alam na agad ng lahat na drawing lang sia :lol::lol:
I like what they did on Park N Ride, that place needs some serious refurbishment. Sana matuloy.
What is that monstrosity plonked at the Mehan Gardens!? Que Horror if it is another commercial mall!
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That would be the current Park&Ride if im not mistaken.
^^ Nice concept though but i seriously doubt this will come to fruition. Govt never cares for these kind of projects. Maintenance na lang nga wala eh.
That would be the current Park&Ride if im not mistaken.
My apologies, I meant the Arroceros Park... Park and Ride is directly at the back of the Met of which is beside the Mehan. The article above mentioned about another lifestyle mall that will be part of it. If such planned mall is the one at the Arroceros Park, thent this is just a shame.
Matagal na project to if ever pero hopefully, sana matuloy nga. Kaso problem is that wala naman maintenance ang gov't e. So kahit na mag-ganito pa, kung hindi rin i-maintain, para lang tayong magsasayang ng pera ng bayan. Lalo na, that whole area is actually full of informal settlers.
I like the idea of revitalizing this area, but I think they should rethink the design and incorporate more of the existing greenery instead of converting it to pavement. Trees would actually make walking in this area more tolerable since napakainit sa Pilipinas.
I like the idea of revitalizing this area, but I think they should rethink the design and incorporate more of the existing greenery instead of converting it to pavement. Trees would actually make walking in this area more tolerable since napakainit sa Pilipinas.
Or not touch the Arroceros Forest Park at all.
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Or not touch the Arroceros Forest Park at all.
Me as a huge advocate of Green Architecture and Environmental Protection I do agree with this. That area should be left untouched. I was a little bit alarmed about the recent news that all the trees will be cut to make way for a Manila Gymnasium - which is for me is already superfluous - rather than modernizing Rizal Sports Complex.

Anyway going back, it has been a long time issue here in SSC about Park N Ride. A large percentage of Park N Ride is being unused (the last time I went there) and it was quite a mess inside. With more UV Expresses in transit, more buses having their own terminals, SWITEX under construction and with LRT-1 Extension the place will become more 'abandoned'. So what to do with Park N Ride? It's either turn it into something else, or modernize it as a terminal and also as a parking space for MET Theatre. Also, many times it has been reiterated here in SSC, that Luneta, the Museums, Intramuros, MET, Post Office and Escolta should all be connected by a mode of transport. This idea of revitalizing this area is very nice. Hope the LGU should consider this.
The completed redevelopment was concentrated on National Museums - Fine Arts, Anthropology & Natural History with the refurbishment of National Observatory, beautification of the Orchidarium... More redevelopment, rehabilitation, preservation - The 1970s Children's Playground should be rehabilitated and later additions such as dinosaurs for the Jurassic Garden with prehistoric ferns & plants (representing natural history) and Space Age Garden with space ships, rockets, space capsules designed (near the Observatory)... The Philippine Map should be dug up 3 with a 2- 3 floors basement can be used for a geology exhibits of different coloured sands from beaches, different stones from quarried, different minerals mined from across the country... The Map should be spewing lava, smoke emitting volcanos that lights up at night... The Flower Clock in Luneta should be rehabilitated as in the original plans...

Rizal Park should be rehabilitated removing mish mash of sculptures, busts, commemorative plaques... Find a new sculptor in the mold of Francesco Monti to create classical statues of freedom fighters, liberators, revolutionaries & propagandists on one side (starting from Lapu Lapu to present day)... The tired looking Chinese & Japanese Gardens should be redesigned or replanted & add Malay & Indian Gardens (comparable to Singapore's Garden by the Bay... The Quirino Grandstand should have a line up of Official Presidents Statues & Grand State Men & Women who contributed in Philippine Legislation (like Parliament Square, Westminster) the Quirino Grandstand should have displays of Presidential inaugurations, bibles, keepsakes, inaguration clothings, diorama or paintings exhibits... If possible rebuilt & add exhibit space or covered sky gardens so people can enjoy the sunset of Manila Bay...

The Metropolitan Theatre rehabilitation is ongoing should include a Museum of Comedy (performers from vaudeville, TV & films) and a performing arts school traditional (folk or native dances, kundiman or opm music, stage plays like moro moro or zarzuela) and modern (song & dance/ ballet/ jazz/ tap and stage, TV & film acting)... Park & Ride facade should redesigned to Art Deco Styled building to house the Presidential Car Museum if not as an extension of Met for stage practice, stage design/ props/ costume/ hair & make up and utilities... The Sky Room Jai Alai Building should be rebuilt to house the American Occupation or Commonwealth Era Museum (1898 to 1945) paintings or photos of Governor Generals, historical documents, American Lifestyle, etc... The Central Post Office should be retrofitted to accomodate the National Library or Archive (not in the Aduana as planned) with Philatelic Exhibit & Tele Communication Exhibit (first book printer, type writer, telephone, phonograph, radio, television, computer, mobile phone, etc), Bangko Sentral should be modernised & made more secured to house the Money Museum & Marcoses Jewel Collection (like the Vault of Victoria & Albert Museum) with the Merropolitan Museum housing the Western Modern Arts & masterpieces of the Rennaisance Masters (Imelda Marcos Collection - like Reina Sofia Gallery in Madrid - cannot compare to the Prado as numbers are far too small to compare)...

The Supreme Court Building should house the paintings of all Supreme Court Justice, Original or copies of Bill of Rights & Philippine Constitutions... The UP College of Medicine or PGH should have Museum of Health & Medicine - old operating theatre exhibits, first licensed doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc (Wellcome Trust Collection Museum - medical instruments, gadgets, photos, books & library)... The Manila City Hall should be vacated and should house a Manila in Miniature thru the Centuries - pre historic, pre Spanic, Spanish Colonial, American Commonwealth, Japanese Occupation, Present Day and artefacts not exhibited in the other museums etc and to include a War Museum - Spanish Independence, American Assimilation, WW II...

Intramuros has to be cleared of illegal settlers, restore ruined buildings, rebuild or reconstruct old Spanish Era Buildings if land is currently unoccupied put up a Fan & Umbrella Museum, Textile & Fashion Museum, Manton de Manila Museum, Maritime Museum (like the one in Greewich UK), Museum of Chilhood (dolls, toys, games), Museum of Food or Cuisine (cooking implements, stove, dining & tea or coffee set)... Rebuild Old Churches if possible... There should be a tour of the other churches outside the wall... Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Malate Church, Ermita Church, Binondo Church, Quiapo Church, San Miguel Church, San Sebastián Church, Sta Ana Church, Paco Church & Park, La Loma/ Chinese/ North Cemetery Panteon de Los Veteranos dela Revolucion and the in/famous or historical persons buried within (Bus Tours & Walking Group Tours)...

Escolta's remaining cinemas preserved or lost cinemas rebuilt to original with modern audio visuals digital HD IMAX 4D audio sensor round...the intention of reviving the film industry with an Official International Film Festival in June with Manila Film Festival still held every December, film premiere exhibiting new films & special film nights for restored old films... A space saved for a film museum to house the treasures, props, costumes, flyers, posters of LVN, Sampaguita, Libran, Premiere Film Productions... Offices of the Award giving bodies in close proximity...

Revitalise the CCP Complex... Redevelop some theatres to be like the National Theatre of London that shows original plays, Greek tragedy & comedy, Shakespearean Translations, with up & coming stars performing side by side with stage & film veterans... make the area safe for summer nights like London Southbanks - street performers, food stalls, skate parks, open air tai chi or yoga or Pilates or Zumba classes... Convert the Film Centre into a Martial Law Museum... Destroying it will be disservice to the countless workers who died, erasing it from the face of the earth will be forgetting the sacrifices of those gone, ostentatious display of wealth will be imaginary if things associated with martial law are all erased... It should be used as a monument of greed & of freedom...

Manila Ocean Park & Museo Pambata are fairly new, Galeon Museum is undergoing completion... But the Manila Zoo will need an overhaul of its design concept with a petting zoo and other children's activities... The Rizal Sports Complex should be refurbished for use of able & differently a led kids who can train to compete in olympics, Paralympics, ASEAN games, Asiad games... The Sports Complex should retain its Art Deco building turning some of them into sport museum (competitors & participants from the Far East games to the latest Olympics, highlighting the sports legends who achieved international recognition, exhibiting important sports memorabilia, jerseys, medals, trophies etc even PBA, PBL, UAAP,etc.. Senator Manny Paquiao should buy of the land & donate it to the Filipino People as a Legacy...

Tutuban should have a Transport Museum to exhibit train locomotives, first automobiles, first buses, first jeepneys, first bicycle, first motorcycle and other mode of transport... Divisoria made safe for locals & foreign tourists... China Town made into foodie destinations - search for the first panciteria, siopao or dimsum place, hopia bakery... Celebrations of Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Moon Festival, sponsored annual Dragon Boat Competition, etc all should be made exclusive to China Town to drum up business...
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A tram system that will be underneath the LRT running the length of of Taft Avenue from Vito Cruz Station to the Central Station... Second tram that will begin from A. Mabini then encircling TM Kalaw to P. Burgos then thru the Walled City... Third Tram from CCP Complex to Roxas Boulevard terminating near A. Bonifacio Drive... Extension to the San Nicolas, San Miguel, Binondo, Quiapo, Sta Cruz Areas could be studied, planned and added in the future if the first 3 trams are operational & successful... It will be a touch card hop on & hop off tram system with controlled speed limit of 15 to 25 miles/hour or 25 to 40 km/hour... Running every 20 minutes interval... Peak times from 5 AM to 8 PM... Night Trams every hour with the last tram 11 PM...

Resurrecting the demolished Sky Room Jai Alai Building and turning it into an Early Benevolent Assimilation up to the end of American Commonwealth Era or a Museum of American Occupation... The Thomasites - the American Educator Pioneers Exhibit... Automobile Exhibit - highlighting the Presidential Car Collection... Film Memorabilia Exhibits... Fashion & Textile Exhibit... Mod Cons Exhibit (Modern Conveniences) - appliances in an American Home in Philippine Setting...

For the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex... City of Manila, Philippines Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee should study the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium (old stadium demolished & replaced by a modern structure), Wimbledon (reconfigured & redesigned lay out for more coherence), Lord's Cricket Grounds (piece meal development resulted to mishmash of designs with no visual coherence), Stade Roland Garros structures modernised with key elements save & new structures blended well with the old buildings found within the botanic garden)...

Heritage buildings within the sports complex should be rehabilitated and modernised to be world class while retaining most of the important bits....
Hopefully matuloy ito at wag na galawin ang arroceros park..
Old NAWASA & Old GSIS Buildings are architectural gems... Must be preserved by NCCA & city government of Manila... They should try to buy it from the owners & rescue the buildings for whatever purpose it will serve... Shame that the Sky Room Jai Alai Building is gone...
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