Manila: Future Habitations

Page 1

Rok Oman / David Rubin / Ĺ pela VideÄ?nik

Manila: Future Habitations

Spring 2018

Studio Report

Rok Oman / David Rubin / Ĺ pela VideÄ?nik

Manila: Future Habitations

Manila: Future Habitations

Studio Instructors Rok Oman, David Rubin, Špela Videčnik

Manila’s extraordinary history—written, erased, and rewritten—has rendered a current condition that is one of extremes and great tensions. The city is rife with poverty and affluence, congestion and release, pollution and ecological diversity. “Manila: Future Habitations” focused on four strategic areas within or adjacent to Manila’s historic core: the Port of Manila, where sea level rise, commerce, a desire to access waterfront by citizenry, and a need for middle-class housing stock all collide; the Baseco compound, a spontaneous settlement situated on a peninsula in Manila Bay with no infrastructure; the Pasig Riverfront, challenged by an ecological system in ruins; and the Intramuros, where infrastructure, architecture, and the vestiges of colonial Manila misalign. This studio focused on the design of human settlements, new types of dwellings, the connective tissue and common ground of cities, and the challenge of designing for the human condition against future tensions.

Teaching Assistant William Baumgardner

Jetty looking toward the Baseco Compound.

Students Cy Chang, Emmanuel Coloma, Zheng Alan Cong, Rose Lee, Peilin Li, Yinan Liu, Chenghao Lyu, Paris Nelson, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Luisa Piñeros Sánchez, Julio Torres Santana, Chi-Hsuan Wang, Bailun Zhang Final Review Critics Saša Begovic, Jennifer Bonner, Sean Chiao, Gina Ford, Stephen Gray, K. Michael Hays, Pavlina Ilieva, Hanif Kara, Grace La, Mark Lee, Nancy Lin, Mohsen Mostafavi, Mark Mulligan, Mary Anne Ocampo, Jinhee Park, Surella Segu, Kevin Storm


Preface Mohsen Mostafavi


Introduction: Written, Erased, and Rewritten Rok Oman, David Rubin, Špela Videčnik


Urban Design as Jigsaw Puzzle Solving Sean Chiao


Convergent Urbanity and the City as Place Pavlina Ilieva

Projects 27

Baseco: Halo-Halo Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana


Manila Port: Gateway to the New Urban District Cy Chang, Chenghao Lyu, Chi-Hsuan Wang


Pasig River: Fluid Occupancies Emmanuel Coloma, Rose Lee, Luisa Piñeros Sánchez


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Formalized area of Baseco.


Reflections on Cacophony: What Might Be David Rubin



Mohsen Mostafavi

The work presented in this book is from the last in a series of six studios, all focusing on emergent conditions of urbanization in Asia, conducted at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). This innovative work, undertaken in collaboration with the global design practice AECOM, has sought to identify specific issues that affect and shape each city and hold the key to its future transformation. The work carried out in this studio on parts of Metro Manila, like those of the earlier studios, is collaborative in approach, across a multiplicity of disciplines—from architecture to landscape architecture, from urban planning to urban design. The studio also engaged local stakeholders, experts, and community leaders to seek their guidance and participation during both the site visit and the subsequent design development period. The format of the studio, which included students from the various departments at the GSD, was multi-scalar in approach from the beginning. This methodology enabled the students and the faculty to constantly zoom in and zoom out at the same time, considering contemporary urban situations of the city through a range of close-up investigations and detailed studies as well as larger-scale territorial relations. This approach was an important driving force of the pedagogy of the studio. Metro Manila and its surrounding regions is, like many other Asian cities, an expanded, sprawling, and densely populated metropolis. The city’s architecture and culture still show evidence of both Spanish and American colonial heritage. These historic influences make the city’s particular form of hybridity distinct and unlike any other city in Asia. Yet, in common with many other Asian cities, Manila is also a city of disparity and incredible, almost shocking inequity between the rich and the poor. The contrast between the wealthier and the poorer parts of the city is often laid bare, side by side. These physical adjacencies make it hard for Manila to camouflage its differences in quality of life and opportunity in the way that some cities in the Gulf region have mastered, particularly during rapid development, by keeping the construction workers out of sight.

Metro Manila is a city of distinct neighborhoods, officially cities, built during different periods. The historic walled city of Intramuros, built over four centuries and still surrounded by greenery, lies at the heart of the old city. Intramuros is also adjacent to the port area as well as the neighborhood of Baseco Compound along the Pasig River, which has become increasingly polluted with waste since the mid1950s. Baseco is also home to one of the largest informal settlements in the Philippines. These three sites—Intramuros, the Port Area, and Baseco Compound—provided the basis for the study area of the design studio and its focus on “Manila: Future Habitations.” Between them, the sites offer a series of unique opportunities for examining contemporary topics in urban development. From issues of conservation to those of recycling, from inequity to new models of residential and public space development, the work shown in this book points to new opportunities for improving the quality of life of the citizens of Manila through design. The work in this book would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our creative students and the faculty, Rok Oman, David Rubin, and Špela Videčnik. Every step of the way, their work was supported by the guidance of our collaborators from AECOM—in particular, Sean Chiao, President, Asia Pacific for the company. I would also like to thank Nancy Lin, Arnel Casanova, and Andy Locsin for all their support. This project began in Manila and will return to Manila as an exhibition and conference. We started the project by trying to learn as much as possible from the specific situation of the city and its people, and we will return to Manila to present the outcomes to the local community and to engage them in further conversations about the city, with all its complexities, challenges, and enormous future opportunities.

Informal settlements along the pier of Baseco.



Rok Oman David Rubin Špela Videčnik

Extraordinary cities are diverse in their populations, economic conditions, and opportunities, weaving a fabric of positive conditions holistically. The isolationist gated communities and internal cities of Metro Manila—neighborhoods where independent centers of commerce and population are established—are not sustainable. The trend of Manila developments is increasing the isolation of communities and fostering greater infrastructure challenges realized in elevated traffic and pollution, while increasing the extreme economic conditions that are not resilient. The studio exploration involved the breadth of design disciplines, weaving landscape, architecture, and urbanism. Students worked in collaborative teams toward a common vision. In strategic partnerships and prior to the site visit, students identified the challenges and opportunities of existing conditions, and made proposals for redefining the urban experience to support a range of living opportunities both in form and fabric. In advance of their arrival to Manila, students researched the selected sites for historical context, current conditions, and typologies of form, transportation systems, and ecological systems, among other characteristics. They also speculated on what might be, finding precedents from other cities with similar challenges. After arrival in Manila, students explored the selected sites to confirm for accuracy the information gathered in Cambridge. The students experienced a “deep dive” into the existing conditions. They tested their initial hypotheses against the realities of their chosen sites. This was their opportunity to challenge the status quo and strive for a better version of urbanism. In the weeks that followed and throughout the semester, the students worked toward a vision that

offers, by example, opportunities to positively inform this extraordinary city. Their goal was to turn challenge into opportunity for the citizenry of Manila, and weave a greater urbanism into the fabric of the city. The capital of the Philippines, Manila has the world’s highest population density, with 42,857 people per square kilometer. It has a population density greater than Mumbai, India (23,000 people/sq km), and Paris, France (20,150 people/sq km). “Metro Manila” is an official term for the entirety of the metropolitan area. In its extents, Manila provides about 90 percent of the domestic industrial production. The city is the cultural and scientific center of the Philippines; it also has an expanse of spontaneous settlements wherein people live just above the subsistence level. The question is, how do you balance the growth of the city and simultaneously improve the quality of life for its inhabitants in a city of extraordinary extremes? The option studio focused on Manila’s core, located between the Central Business District of Metro Manila, called Makati, and the area to the north, known as Navotas. The core, 9 kilometers in diameter, fronts Manila Bay to the west and embodies a microcosm of the larger, modern city with all of its complex challenges. It is a mix of mid- and high-rise buildings, contrasted with spontaneous settlements west of the Port Area, and shipping and container fields to the southwest. Notwithstanding the challenges and complex issues of the urban fabric, this area is also threatened by sea level rise due to both climate change and a desire to occupy the coastal edge. Manila’s extraordinary history—written, erased, and rewritten—has rendered a current condition that is one of extremes and great tensions. The city is rife with poverty and affluence,

Coastal structures in Baseco.


Introduction: Written, Erased, and Rewritten

sion of understanding the conditions to which they were responding. The Manila studio is the last in a series of AECOM-supported studios at the Harvard GSD, all focused on the challenges of urbanism in the Pacific Rim and Asia. We have been fortunate to participate and collaborate with the selected students, citizens and dignitaries of the cities, and AECOM representatives in the final two studios, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and the capital of the Philippines, Manila. While each studio has been unique in quality and character, the challenges identified are global in concern and representative of so many of the world’s urban-centric issues. With more humans living in the context of cities than ever before in the history of mankind, in their breadth and scale, these cities are a barometer of humanity’s current and future concerns for civic life. It has been our honor to participate in the investigations contained herein, to have collaborated with the selected students whose creativity and inventiveness are recognized in this publication. We would like to offer our appreciation to the academic administration of the Harvard GSD for extending to us the privilege of joining the legacy of instructors at Gund Hall. And we are appreciative of AECOM, and their genuine interest in the exploration of all that challenges the human condition in urban settings with an aspiration to find prospective solutions that can positively inform global concerns.

In each site explored, urban-centric issues, from built form through connective tissue, were at the heart of every study.

Access video content by scanning the QR codes or visit

Introduction: Written, Erased, and Rewritten

12 congestion and release, pollution and ecological diversity. “Manila: Future Habitations” focused on four strategic areas within or adjacent to Manila’s historic core: the Port of Manila, where sea level rise, commerce, a desire to access waterfront by citizenry, and a need for middle-class housing stock all collide; the Baseco compound, a spontaneous settlement situated on a peninsula in Manila Bay with no infrastructure; the Pasig Riverfront, challenged by an ecological system in ruins; and the Intramuros, where infrastructure, architecture, and the vestiges of colonial Manila misalign. This studio focused on the design of human settlements, new types of dwellings, the connective tissue and common ground of cities, and the challenge of designing for the human condition against future tensions. In acknowledgment of the forward-thinking, problem-solving nature of the Baseco proposal, the team received recognition from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and was honored with the Award of Excellence in Residential Design at the 2018 ASLA Student Awards. For the reader, we have added QR codes to this year’s publication for access to video content once scanned. This addition assists in the understanding of the extremes within which the students were problem-solving and offers a personal view of the experiences while studying there. Manila is truly a spectrum of issues and conditions. The video clips offer greater dimen-


Rok Oman, David Rubin, Ĺ pela VideÄ?nik When visiting Manila, students were joined by on-the-ground AECOM representatives, as well as civic leaders and knowledgeable local guides.

Introduction: Written, Erased, and Rewritten

14 Top: The Harvard GSD—AECOM Forum gave students and civic leaders the opportunity to share and exchange ideas on the challenges concerning Manila.

Bottom: Student presentations focused on academic findings and initial proposals prior to in situ verification.


Rok Oman, David Rubin, Špela Videčnik Top: The Harvard GSD—AECOM Forum gathered the city’s leadership and strategic thinkers to focus on the future of Manila.

Bottom: In summary of the event, a panel discussion involving civic leaders, architects, and urban planners brought focus to the breadth of challenges facing the city in its present state.

Sean Chiao

“Manila: Future Habitations” is a unique studio where the four projects proposed are situated in three adjacent sites in Manila. When the projects from the Port Area, Baseco, Intramuros, and the Pasig River are placed together, it is as if one is putting together a jigsaw puzzle. One of the most critical aspects this studio illustrated is that good designers should always go beyond their own sites, step back, and try to see how different pieces work with each other and within the larger urban context. Urban design is about collective efforts. When all of the projects were put together in a single model consisting of the four sites, other alternatives became apparent and design strategies suddenly became more provocative. Although each site has its own challenges and each design proposal addresses different programs and solutions, from re-programming the Port Area, to developing a construction framework for future housing expansion in Baseco, to addressing the wall at Intramuros, to rethinking connectivity across the Pasig River, the urban issues this studio focused on are undoubtedly pressing needs for Manila. Yet without looking at all four projects holistically and considering how they would connect together to reinforce each other as a larger strategy, the designs would become less powerful and less successful. The most significant problem Manila has as a city is that too many projects and developments are implemented in segregation. It is true that the constraints from regulations or land and property ownerships are major contributors to the many challenges. However, if discussion platforms and review mechanisms are not created to look at the conditions com-

prehensively, and policy makers do not start to progressively change the way the city is operated, merely having great architecture or urban design projects will not be sufficient to resolve the dysfunction of the city, nor unlock the opportunities Manila offers. It is exciting to see the Harvard GSD providing studios, such as Spring 2017’s “Kuala Lumpur: Designing the Public Realm” and this year’s “Manila: Future Habitations,” with faculty members from both landscape architecture and architecture. Not only are we seeing enriched research and proposals in the studio projects, these types of cross-disciplinary undertakings stimulated more complex and diversified interactions among the students, instructors, and even juries from reviews and with stakeholders in Manila throughout the semester. Nevertheless, it is also evident that a more proactive cross-department and cross-school collaboration may potentially be the next step for the future of design education. We are confronted with urban issues that can no longer be solved and led by urban designers, landscape architects or architects alone. With resources as abundant as those of Harvard University where many professional programs are available, I believe the GSD can further engage with the other schools of engineering, policy, law, business, public health, and other sciences so that we can all learn from each other. I look forward to seeing the GSD create a truly collaborative cross-boundary curriculum for professional learning which our future professional practice will require of us.

Coastal debris, Baseco.


Urban Design as Jigsaw Puzzle Solving

Pavlina Ilieva

Examining the contemporary city often demands confronting the neatly compartmentalized systems that govern social, environmental, and economic urban conditions with the messy reality of life in the global metropolis. In doing so, one inevitably encounters a realm of dueling antiheroes—the elephant in the room, the 800pound gorilla, and the one-trick pony, among other less obvious protagonists of the complex physical and social structures that make up today’s post-industrial cities. The last 100 years have taught us that addressing contemporary urban challenges of social exclusion, pollution, and economic disparity with the brute force of social segregation, massive infrastructural overhaul, and the post-colonial franchise breeds a ubiquitous global landscape entrenched in outdated western planning models. These strategies rely on a familiar and comprehensible formula: reducing urbanity to a banal mix of functions and financial transactions that render bigworld cities as having more in common among themselves than the smaller cities they share a country with. Anti-globalization sentiments, however, offer little alternative for addressing the stiff competition for prestige and authority on the global stage in an effort to attract the investment and talent that countries need. Cities hold the artifacts of collective existence through time and the residue of continuous transformation. Rapid transformation makes change visible—the material reality of buildings, transportation patterns, and urban landscapes manifest our actions and aspirations. The shape of cities, how much energy they consume, how their transportation infrastructure is organized, and where people are housed relative to jobs, services and transit— these all affect the social, environmental, and economic health of global society. Through the web of highways, streets and meandering alleys, indefinite edges of public space and the Pasig River, derelict ruins of

post-industrial terrains and the emblematic form of open civic space, Manila weaves a dense tapestry of contrasting fragments of urbanity. Public space, civic structures, mobility networks, environmental conditions, habitation patterns, waste, and pollution all come together through the connective tissue of the urban landscape into a thick mat of systemic malfunction in need of incremental, comprehensive overhaul. Can we find deeper connections between social cohesion and built form, sustainability and density, public transit and social justice? Can we overcome the complex walls of misunderstanding between theory, policy, and those who see the city in spatial terms for the benefit of uniting fragmented constituencies and frame a convergence within which the city can operate? “Manila: Future Habitations” explores reinventing cultural facilities while rethinking the use of environmental resources, forging key nodes that introduce alternative urban transportation systems, reinhabiting post-industrial typologies at a different scale, and devising new forms of housing for the changing needs of the constituent urban population. This ensemble of proposed interventions offers a fine-grained, nimble, and locally minded approach to world city problems in search of spatial and social coherence. The power of hypothesizing future habitations today lies not in the validity of any one scenario or its ability to readily solve endemic problems, but rather in the capacity to unlock opportunities for convergence of purpose, form, and political will for potential transformation. This suggests promoting inclusive, sustainable, and competitive cities delivered by researchers, policy makers, and practitioners that embrace a broader urban agenda beyond their immediate expertise. Like a cross-disciplinary jujitsu of the mind, integrative and multidimensional thinking would focus on building cities that are adaptive, resilient, and advance broader objectives grounded in “place.”

Previous page: Port and Baseco.

Following spread: Government social housing, Baseco.


Convergent Urbanity and the City as Place




Storefront, Baseco.




Site Key 1. Baseco 2. Manila Port 3. Pasig River 4. Intramuros




Yinan Liu Aime Vailes-Macarie Julio Torres Santana

The Baseco community in Metro Manila is one of the most economically and environmentally challenged urban areas in the world. Originally used as a dumping site for the waste products of Manila’s public works projects, this neglected territory is now called home by more than 60,000 informal settlers originating from various rural parts of the Philippines. While the government has acknowledged this community and attempted to provide some services, it is clear from new urban development plans that seek to construct a luxury center for Manila’s wealthiest elites in Manila Bay, just beyond Baseco, that Baseco will not receive the large outside investment that could be critical to its improvement. If it is clear that Baseco will not receive resources or support from the outside, it becomes paramount that it successfully mobilizes the resources and assets it already possesses that go unused. Our proposal seeks to provide economic stability, environmental resilience, and social coherence in Baseco by efficiently managing the organic and inorganic waste that currently typifies the landscape of the territory. By deploying architectural and ecological interventions that facilitate energy production from human waste, provide safe and reliable building materials from recycled solid waste, and create local and dependable food sources by composting organic food waste, Baseco can not only become self-sufficient, it can become a prototypical solution for engaging the ever-expanding challenge of addressing urban slums in the developing world. View of Baseco during site visit.


Baseco: Halo-Halo

of mangrove nurseries supplemented by other plants whose root networks are known to fortify erosion-prone soils. In addition, wastewater was collected and purified at the local level and at the global level, with a large infrastructure of water collection implemented in case of flood or monsoon events where local sequestration would be unfit. As part of the architectural superstructure, a series of roofs was constructed to collect water for bathing, re-collect water for toilets, and to finally pass along water to various bioswales and water-processing elements to be cleansed before entering the larger network of water systems. The previously massive and irregular block of the Baseco Compound was subdivided following a logic discerned from the most comfortably scaled existing block so that trash collections, emergency evacuation, and delivery of resources could be facilitated without issue. Ultimately, as urban development trends more and more toward servicing the wealthy, clever and inventive schemes that take the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the urban poor into account will have greater value. As a prototypical example of the sorts of informal settlement upgradation schemes that are possible with a thorough understanding of the population in question, this Baseco upgradation project attempts to highlight the most catalytic component in the development of underserved and disenfranchised communities; the potential energy of communities that are habituated to doing for themselves, the inventiveness that comes from informal habitation, and the thick social fabric that exists among those who have come to depend on each other instead of the state.

Scan the QR Code to access videos of the Baseco site.

Baseco: Halo-Halo


Our short-term strategy focuses on creating economic stability in Baseco by promoting high levels of efficiency through comprehensive waste management while our long-term strategy emphasizes cultivating and endowing the residents of Baseco with the knowledge and skill set to venture into other urban slums and perform the same transformative operations that allowed them to improve their own community. We proposed two sets of architectural options, each containing two separate proposals, as well as two complementary landscape options for each set. In terms of architecture, two proposals were brought forward that weighed the positive outcomes of replacing the existing Baseco housing stock with a new housing typology whose safety and durability could be comfortably guaranteed. These options were also of the lowest cost and greatest efficiency; however they proved largely inadequate in terms of preserving the urban fabric currently present in Baseco. While prefab construction methods made their execution quick and cost-effective, money was taken out of the local economy, which violated one of our most essential objectives in addressing the Baseco community: providing economic independence to its residents. As a result, the second series of architectural interventions leveraged assets already on the ground and put the local escuela tailler workforce of trained artisans to work by using them as the labor force required to assemble the new housing stock. In terms of design, the second set of interventions sought to produce a superstructure whose integrity and functionality could be guaranteed while leaving the individual layout of partitions up to the residents themselves. This scheme proved vastly superior to its predecessor not only because it preserved the essence of Baseco living that predated it, but also because it reduced the scale of the product being delivered, which in turn amped up the feasibility of the project. Government or non-profit assistance was needed solely for the superstructure and the plumbing, while more personal trappings were left to the residents, minimizing costs and allowing for greater individuality and variety. In terms of landscaping, we prioritized water purification through different remediation techniques as well as soil strengthening through the incorporation of different horticultural elements. Because the Baseco Compound sits upon land reclaimed primarily through infill with waste, the condition of the soil was a key concern for the group. All landscape strategies sought to add resilience to the soil through the planting


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana Top: Baseco context plan.

Bottom: Baseco neighborhood context plan.

Existing Conditions Program Educational Industrial Commercial Religious Food Institutional Health


Baseco: Halo-Halo


Access Water Pedestrian Vehicular

MM MM Manila: Manila: Future Future Habitations Habitations MM Manila: Future Habitations BasecoBaseco Compound Compound Baseco Compound

Instructors: Instructors: Rok Oman, Rok Oman, David Rubin, David Rubin, Spela Videcnik Spela Videcnik 2/6/2018 2/6/2018 Instructors: Rok Oman, David Rubin, Spela Videcnik


Street paving Asphalt Concrete Dirt

Scale Scale


New community grid

Existing roads

Existing fabric

38 communities


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Informal settlement area: 38 communities Up to 1,000 people per community

Study sample #16 Scale Scale Scale

229 blocks

68% Residential area

35% Single-story

157 people per block 28% Mixed use

64% Two- and three-story

7.6 m2 per person

4% Public space

1% Four-story

Previous page: Extended site analysis identified programming throughout the Baseco, access points to the peninsula, and street conditions.

Above: In-depth site analysis identified 38 communities, the content of each of the neighborhoods, associated public and private spaces, and distribution of population.

Existing Housing Typologies

Concrete block house

Building materials: Salvaged corrugated metal sheets Salvaged wood Cinder block

Soil composition: Silty sand and garbage composite Organic silty clay/sea level/water table Soft gray clay

Existing living conditions: Living area (10–15 m2) Living area (10–15 m2) Living area (15–20 m2)

Family size based on HUD and UNHC data

Actual family size based on population of Baseco

Existing living conditions: Living area (10–15 m2) Living area (10–15 m2)

Family size based on HUD and UNHC data

Actual family size based on population of Baseco

Baseco: Halo-Halo



Makeshift house

Building materials:


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Salvaged corrugated metal sheets Salvaged wood Native wood (bamboo)

Existing living conditions: Living area (10–20 m2) Living area (10–20 m2)

Family size based on HUD and UNHC data

Actual family size based on population of Baseco

Existing living conditions: Living area (10–20 m2) Living area (10–20 m2)

Family size based on HUD and UNHC data

Actual family size based on population of Baseco

Baseco: Halo-Halo


Module properties (6 m2 per person)

AREAS Living: 59.54 m² Common: 10.24 m² AREAS Modules: 10 Living: 59.54 m² Common: 10.24 m² AREAS Modules: 10 Living: 59.54 m² Common: 10.24 m² Modules: 10

AREAS Living: 71.44 m² Common: 15.47 m² AREAS Modules: 12 Living: 71.44 m² Common: 15.47 m² AREAS Modules: 12 Living: 71.44 m² Common: 15.47 m² Modules: 12


AREAS Living: 71.44 m² AREAS Common: 5.95 m² Modules: 12 Living: 71.44 m² Common: 5.95 m² AREAS Modules: 12 Living: 71.44 m² Common: 5.95 m² Modules: 12




(Structure vs. E

Top: Minimum space per person occupancy study from the National Building Code of the Philippines (2m x 3m), Health Principles for Housing, World Health Organization (4m x 5m), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (3m x 5m), and typical living space density in Baseco (4m x 3m).

Bottom: Kitchen and bathroom modular design study. Bathroom and kitchen (left), kitchen and kitchen (middle), and bathroom (right).

Top: Module arrangement study—living spaces versus common spaces.

Bottom: Module extension study—structure versus exposure.



Acoustical conflicts

(StructureMODULE vs. Exposure) EXTENSION STUDY Module (Structure vs. Exposure) Extension


Extencion Common Area Acoustical KEY: Direction Exposure Conflits Module Extencion Common Area Extension Direction Exposure

Common area access


Exposure Conflits Extension direction

Extencion Direction

Common Area

(Structure vs. Exposure)

Module Extension

Module Extension


Module extension

Extencion Direction


Acoustical Conflits Common Area Exposure

Acoustical Conflits

AREAS Living: 53.58 m² AREAS Common: 2.58 m² Modules: 9 Living: 53.58 m² Common: 2.58 m² AREAS Modules: 9 Living: 53.58 m² Common: 2.58 m² Modules: 9


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

AREAS Living: 47.63 m² AREAS Common: 3.90 m² Modules: 8 Living: 47.63 m² Common: 3.90 m² AREAS Modules: 8 Living: 47.63 m² Common: 3.90 m² Modules: 8



Module extension study Module arrangement study


Baseco: Halo-Halo

Prototype 1

With the proposed modules identified for Prototype 1, materiality and array were studied to understand the prospect for spatial arrangement.


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 2

Prototype 2 expanded the options for modules to include extruded forms to increase the potential for arrangements that create a courtyard-centric option for multiple dwellings.



Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 1

Previous page and top: Even with modular components, the system is adaptable and capable of individual expression, highlighting dwelling and neighborhood identity.

Bottom: Section of a modular arrangement distributing living spaces, utilities, bathing rooms, and sleeping spaces.

Computer modeling allowed the nuanced assemblages of built form and open spaces to be realized and tested for both authenticity and desired effect.



Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 2

Previous page and top: With the expanded modules of Prototype 2, multiple dwelling units are assembled to create small communities focused on courtyards where social engagement and sustainable infrastructure support thriving neighborhoods.

Bottom: Section through the expanded modular units.

Computer modeling of Prototype 2 described new clusters of multi-family dwellings surrounding semi-pubic, common courtyards, as they fit within the public path system that connects all the “neighborhoods.�

46 Both prototypes are supported by public and semi-public spaces informed by sustainable practices, including stormwater capture and reuse, and productive landscapes.



Baseco: Halo-Halo

Prototype 1

Model studies were used to test the relationships between varied Prototype 1 dwellings and the spaces they inform.


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 2

Prototype 2 study models demonstrate the variety of arrangements possible for community clusters and the courtyard.

Existing condition





Rainwater collection

Baseco: Halo-Halo


Prototype 3


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 4

New structure and plumbing

Roof and floors



Previous page: Prototype 3 utilizes a superstructure to build upon existing housing components, allowing for additional resiliency, sustainable stormwater capture, and a variety of living conditions.

Unit subdivision

Above: Prototype 4 establishes a new language based upon a central, common core and assorted living environments arrayed around the periphery.


Baseco: Halo-Halo

Prototype 3

Integrated holistically within the Prototype 3 system is infrastructure that supports stormwater collection and the distribution of freshwater for potable purposes.


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana

Prototype 4

Prototype 4 utilizes the core of each cluster to serve as stormwater collector, with a distribution system that focuses on both a potable water system, as well as the controlled distribution of water for productive purposes.


Baseco: Halo-Halo

Prototype 4 Phasing

Phase 1: Housing plot pattern

Phase 2: Common areas and sanitary services

Development phasing diagrams.


Yinan Liu, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Julio Torres Santana Phase 3: Landscape integration

Phase 4: Habitation

56 Top: Clusters of housing are elevated out of the flood zone to accommodate storm surge; nominal stormwater inundation is captured for reuse throughout the community.

Bottom: Prototype 3 housing superstructures reinforce building edges and assist in defining public and semi-public spaces, all supported by sustainable systems integrated throughout the redefined community.



Cy Chang Chenghao Lyu Chi-Hsuan Wang

In order to transform the industrial site of the Port Area into a newly generated city, our team, with a focus on future user groups and activities, introduces new typologies and programs to the site. Considering the diverse user groups that relocated to the Port Area, we find opportunities to generate new housing typologies, which try to conquer the issue of hierarchical segregation within the Philippines, and intend to trigger mutual interactions between inhabitants of different backgrounds. We hope these interactions will not just take place within public spaces but also within residential areas and neighborhoods. The housing typologies are designed to accommodate different user groups. The act of integration implies the core principle for these dwellings: augmentation of social equality and enhancement of communal synergy. After the visit to the Manila Port, our team recognized the importance of civic lives for locals, and how public activities have become a primary element of people’s daily routines in Filipino culture. Keeping this understanding in mind, our designs are driven around the concern of how to connect and reconnect each gesture back to the larger network, both conceptually and physically. Wishing to preserve the animated atmosphere within the residential area, all building modules are placed and reoriented around a central public core, which could be used for community gardens, libraries, small exhibition spaces, temporary theaters, or simply as playground for residents. The placement of the public View of Manila Port during site visit.


Manila Port: Gateway to the New Urban District

rooms (for music, dancing, fine arts), among other areas. The spatial character of the educational space is inspired by the spontaneous settlement in Manila. There are two main inspirations. The first is the extraordinary diversity of the space within the spontaneous settlements. From our on-site experience, we find that kids gather and play in many spaces, from the rooftops to the streets, from terraces to courtyards. We think these void spaces of various sizes between building volumes provide opportunities for kids to occupy and use by themselves, and this play can stimulate their curiosity. The second inspiration is social equality. When we look at photographs of the spontaneous settlement in the city, we can immediately acknowledge that human beings live under the same sky. Conceptually, for the school and cultural center, everyone would study, communicate, and play under one single large roof. We see this as a metaphor of social equality: under this roof, people would share the space no matter where they come from. We believe that the flexible spatial arrangement can create a unique learning environment for all of Manila.

Manila Port: Gateway to the New Urban District


core is intended to ensure its accessibility by all units, while still following general building codes. The public core, which begins from the ground level, also provides the opportunity to associate with and even structurally relate to adjacent typologies; we wish to extend this shared space into a greater system. The introduction of these new dwelling strategies is not only to provide more organized spaces to revive the spirited environment, but also to produce job opportunities for future residents. Discovering how many working class populations suffer from poor working conditions and frequently need to be separated from their families to work, we develop a type of housing unit that allows the workers to reside with their families while working on-site, in nearby facilities, or on the port. The worker housing units are not meant as another form of mundane dormitory, but are rather designed as livable spaces that contain shared dwelling chambers and open areas. The shared spaces for BOH units are interconnected; the interweaving chambers allow inhabitants from different units to interact and socialize. The shared chambers act like another corridor system revolving around the elevator and egress core, which allow the workers to travel freely through different levels. The main objective for the mixed-user housing is to try to integrate people from different backgrounds and minimize segregation by means of positive interaction. To activate the neighborhood, and even the surrounding communities, the residential tower is supported by a central atrium connecting the terrace garden and tower garden. This central atrium could be used for a variety purposes, such as a library, small classrooms, or simply open green space. The continuous public spaces within this piece of architecture will allow a series of interactions between residents. We consider the school as one of the most important public facilities within our new urban district. It would provide equal educational opportunities for kids from different social classes, and more importantly, serve not only as an educational space, but also as a community center providing shared cultural and recreational public facilities that can be used by all the people from the community. The use of this space can be divided into two time periods. During the day, it would function as a school; after school, some of its facilities would open to the public, such as the basketball courts, cafeteria, library, auditorium, gallery, gathering spaces, and art-related class-

A revised street plan connects to adjacent arterials, and informs the interior of the former Port with a regular grid geometry.

Architectural volumes reinforce spatial relationships and the new mixed-use neighborhood.

Historic structures are identified for preservation and inclusion in the new construct.

Programmatic distribution reinforces housing and commercial opportunities.

Future public spaces reinforce access to the bay’s waterfront, establishing a new terminus for the Burnham plan.

Program and architectural form married together define the district.


Cy Chang, Chenghao Lyu, Chi-Hsuan Wang

Urban Strategy

The design team identified strategies from which to compose a new neighborhood of diverse content.

Type 2: Industrial port. Aspects of the Port will remain active.

Type 3: Habitat pool and production pool. Floating forms buffer storm surge and establish habitat.

Type 4: Walking deck, habitat pool, and algae farm. Remnant Port infrastructure is memorialized in place.

Type 5: Walking deck and elevated path. Floating forms support connective paths across previously inaccessible areas.

Type 6: Walking deck and underwater structure. Additional forms extend the utility of the existing piers.

Above: Forms inspired by the geometry of paths deigned for the midterm submission are utilized to inform the harbor-related elements between the piers, extending the vocabulary of the site into water for the purpose of utility, infrastructure, and sustainability.

Following page: Port site plan proposal.


Type 1: Habitat pool, production pool, and fish farm. Forms in the aggregate allow people to engage with the water.

Manila Port: Gateway to the New Urban District

Floating Platform Typologies


64 Top: Section through port piers looking east.

Bottom: Section through esplanade market looking east.


Landscape Taxonomy

Swimming pool and basketball court

Movable service and gathering

Restaurant and retail

Art lawn

Water feature and rain garden

Urban farm and open theater

Waterfront market and eco fishing

Concert hall and amphitheater

Subway station and public plaza

Water feature and open plaza

Eco marshland

Social events and outdoor market

Skate park

The application of a new language of lines and intersections informs a landscape typology that is distributed through the port site.

Manila Port: Gateway to the New Urban District

Sports field and playground


Fitness ground and walking path


Cy Chang, Chenghao Lyu, Chi-Hsuan Wang Above: Public green amphitheater, gardens, and markets.

Following spread: A dynamic new social core that bisects through the site provides a critically needed public artery for the residents and city of Manila.

Natural cross ventilation

BOH living BOH shared/secondary corridor

Semipublic facilities Open tower garden

Open terrace garden

Entry to parking

Mixed-use housing

Utilizing a language that echoes the site’s industrial heritage, a new architectural vernacular is created to inform how the built environment amalgamates into a dynamic new area.

Circulation system

Housing Tower housing A 14 units 470 m3 per unit

+9 m

+6 m

Terrace housing B 14 units 520 m3 per unit

+3 m

Tower housing D 18 units 450 m3 per unit

+0 m +9 m

+11 m +9 m

+6 m +6 m

+3 m

+3 m

Tower housing C 14 units 430 m3 per unit

+0 m

+0 m +9 m

+6 m

+3 m +0 m

This new language provides a range of architectural opportunities that connect and grow into larger developments.


Skylights open to pocket park below

Elevated running track

Basketball court

Positioning the school as the central nucleus of a community, our design aims to create a space in which educational and public programing blend into one area. The gridded roof structure works with the local climate, providing relief from the sun and capturing and redirecting the breeze into the public areas.


73 Vertical ventilation through skylights

Clerestory windows

Green space for communal and educational activities

74 First-floor plan

Second-floor plan

Above and following page: Connecting the school’s educational programming with the active, mixed-use urban programming helps to merge the educational environment into the dynamic and engaging new form of the Port’s fabric.

Following spread: The central core’s design helps capture and control stormwater while also providing a range of social spaces that connect to the surrounding developments and engage the community at large.


Emmanuel Coloma Rose Lee Luisa Piñeros Sánchez

A place of extremes, Manila is a megacity at a critical juncture. Since World War II, the Pasig River, which runs through the heart of the city, has been regarded as a source of unsightly pollution, damaging floods, and an interruptive physical barrier. Our design proposal rests upon the belief that the key to a vibrant future is to turn the river into a resource rather than a hindrance to the citizens. Through examining the complex relationships among river ecology, local economy, transportation and public space, we propose an adaptive design that brings the Manileño to the forefront by allowing the Pasig River and its edges to anticipate rising waters, transportation development, and an ever-burgeoning diverse population. We believe in increasing the value of the Pasig River waterfront for all Manileños by providing an opportunity for them to attain resources, acquire knowledge, and take ownership of the land they live on. The project is located in the Pasig River, a 25-kilometer-long river that bisects Manila, Philippines, the densest city in the world. Though called a river, it is actually a tidal estuary that connects the saltwater Manila Bay with the freshwater Laguna de Bay. The flow of water fluctuates depending on whether it is the dry or wet season. For the scope of the project, we primarily focused on what is now a vacant lot in front of the Intramuros wall, approximately 9,500 square meters (1 hectare). Currently closed off to the public, it is a space we decided to focus on due to both its historic View of Pasig River during site visit.


Pasig River: Fluid Occupancies:

Investigation and Collaboration We had the opportunity to visit Manila and the Pasig River this past February. We were able to talk to and gather valuable information from multiple local stakeholders, including government officials, artists, and public advocates of the Pasig River. We also rode on the Pasig River Ferry, which was an indelible opportunity to look at the current context and state of the river. Despite the river’s infamy for its prolific amounts of pollution and overall neglect, we were inspired by the teeming life we did witness and the ways in which people interacted with the river itself—including fishing and swimming! This inspired us to design a way to bring life back to the waterfront, both for the people and the environment. In addition, given the current state of massive traffic congestion plaguing Manila—which contributes to hours of commute time and toxic smog—we wanted to elevate the use of the ferry as a very plausible, and much quicker, alternative to traverse the city. Design Program, Intent, Environmental Impact, and Concerns Through the use of native and climate-tolerant plant species, we populate the public space with ample shade, spaces for local economies to thrive, and a soft and permeable barrier that protects the historic Intramuros wall from the threat of 100-year floods. We want to encourage people to stay in the cool spaces during the hot Manila days, create the platform for informal economies to thrive, and address the impending threat of sea level rise while protecting an important piece of the Philippines’s cultural heritage. We also propose a revitalized ferry hub with self-sustaining restroom facilities that catalyzes the Intramuros wall as an active public space, and acts as the terminus of a pedestrian bridge that connects Binondo (the oldest Chinatown in the world) with Intramuros itself. We want to encourage people to take the ferry by allowing

the ferry terminals to become public spaces where anyone can feel invited and dignified. We also want to connect the city’s urban fabric more seamlessly by allowing a pedestrian-only bridge to act as a busy public plaza where people can congregate, find spaces to cool down, and get views of the river and city beyond. Doing so would allow for a more walkable and accessible Manila, especially at the heart of its historic and cultural core. Lastly, we propose a series of adaptable trapezoidal floating platforms along the river’s edge of varying forms and programs, such as heritage gardens, agricultural plots, phytoremediation gardens, artificial reefs, fishing and kayak docks, and basketball courts. The aggregation of the platforms would vary throughout time depending on the needs of the community. The design of these trapezoids is meant to be flexible in use and adaptable to the tidal conditions of the site. The platforms would act as an active public surface where people can gather, fish, plant, and learn about their environment’s heritage. In addition, they would also act as agents of protecting the river ecology by using plants to phytoremediate the river itself, creating habitats for both aquatic and terrestrial animals to thrive, and collecting the floating lilies that traverse the river in large aggregates which often impede existing ferry routes. Though we focused mainly on one site for our project, the intention is for this site to serve as a prototype that can be deployed throughout the extent of the river where valuable. We provide two other examples of potential hubs in our design proposal: one with the condition of a car-dominated environment, and the other with a preexisting though underutilized transportation hub. In the car-dominated condition, and given the lack of open space, we propose expanding the public realm into the river itself by providing space to gather and linger around the ferry terminal. For the other hub, in order to give the space a sense of destination, we propose to populate the plaza with shade-providing palm trees and a soft barrier to protect the inland infrastructure from floods. Materials and Installation Methods We intend on using locally sourced wood to construct the materials of the floating platforms and planting beds. We also propose using collected plastic from the river as the main material to keep the platforms afloat. These platforms would be attached to each other either by rope, or directly with attached hooks. We intend for the platforms to be easily adaptable and removable

Pasig River: Fluid Occupancies


location and proximity to the Plaza de Mexico ferry terminal and preexisting pedestrian bridge to Binondo. In addition, we also looked into two other potential “hub” locations situated next to the Lawton ferry terminal and the car-dominated Roxas Bridge at the mouth of the Pasig River. Exploring the potential of these two sites also lent two alternatives of our design proposal under different conditions to demonstrate its adaptability to multiple situations.


Emmanuel Coloma, Rose Lee, Luisa Piñeros Sánchez

to give the people agency in their use. The platforms along the river’s edge would be attached to a pole system that would allow for the platforms to rise and fall to the daily rhythm of the tides. Our planting palette consists of a variety of native and climate-tolerant plant species, many of which have phytoremediation qualities to help remediate the river and stormwater runoff of pollutants.

Above: The Pasig River is utilized in limited capacity for ferry services. Infrequent terminals serve boat traffic that could move more people with greater frequency, if more opportunities were realized. Scan the QR Code to access videos of the Pasig River site.

Following spread: Site analysis.


Fort Santiago

Nagtahan Bridge

Plaza Mexico


Pureza Pup

Quezon Bridge

SM City Manila Lambingan Bridge

Sta Ana

Manila Bay

Valenzuela Bridge Hulo

LRT line 1 MRT line 2



MRT line 3 PNR communter Existing ferry terminal Proposed ferry terminal Factory (source of pollution)

Public spaces Churches Parks Transportation LRT line 1 Existing ferry terminals Proposed ferry terminals Flood 100 year flood

Existing Vehicular Bridge Retrofit Fort Santiago Main hub and ferry terminal

Pedestrian Bridge + Common Plaza Mexico / Intramuros Ferry terminal



Taytay Garcia Ave

San Joaquin Pinagbuhatan

Pateros Nagpayong



Laguna de Bay

Multimodal Hub Quezon Bridge / Lawton Main hub and ferry terminal



Full platform measurements

Platform with circulation

Hollow platform

Terraced platform

Sloped platform

Extruded platform

Above and following page: A language of polygon platforms offers myriad combinations and opportunities to inform embankment and floating spaces on the river, each with a specific social program, infrastructure, or ecological merit.

Following spread: The language of platforms vary in size, use, and intent, with some in support of ecological resiliency and pollutant mitigation, and others for transportation, infrastructure, flood abatement, and social purpose.

Pasig River: Fluid Occupancies


Platform Typologies

Ferry dock

Basektball court

Cooling parklet


Emmanuel Coloma, Rose Lee, Luisa PiĂąeros SĂĄnchez

Commercial plaza




Kayak dock


Fishing dock

Heritage garden

Artificial reef

Habitat curtain




88 Above: Combinations of platforms can be arranged as desired by communities along the river’s edge, where they can respond to tidal surge, defend against prospective flood, and provide social or ecologically remediating functions.

Following page: Environments on and within the river respond to seasonal conditions throughout the year in cyclical patterns.



Hub 1

Top: The Intramuros Ferry Terminal, plaza, and pedestrian bridge utilize the same language to describe structural form, spatial divide, and program, each in a unique response to the utility needed.

Bottom: View from new pedestrian bridge to the Ferry Terminal, plaza and embankment.


92 Section through Intramuros Ferry Terminal, plaza, and embankment. Elevation change and distribution of polygon forms assist in storm surge and flood protection.



Pasig River: Fluid Occupancies

Hub 2

Alternative study site focused on existing vehicular bridge retrofit at Fort Santiago Ferry Terminal.


Emmanuel Coloma, Rose Lee, Luisa PiĂąeros SĂĄnchez

Hub 3

Alternative study site focused on multimodal hub Quezon Bridge/Lawton Ferry Terminal.


Zheng Alan Cong Peilin Li Paris Nelson Bailun Zhang

The identity of Intramuros in the context of Greater Manila has always been in question—its very name immediately separates this historic center from the city beyond the walls, or the “extramuros.” While physical boundaries have become more relaxed (or simply changed in form)—the fortification walls partially destroyed, the moat filled in—the legacy of Intramuros’s identity as a “walled-in city” has held on, isolating the core from contemporary urban Manila as it develops. We believe that Intramuros can no longer exist as an urban island. With its richly layered urban and architectural history, it has much to contribute in negotiating with growing issues of urban tension and participating in the conversation of Manila’s future identity. We would like to recognize the significant work performed by the Intramuros Administration (IA) since 1979 to restore and revitalize this important historic area. In approaching this site, we wholeheartedly share their goals of community engagement, and ensuring that Intramuros continues to be a destination and resource for both tourists and locals of Manila. We especially hope to build upon their past and current initiatives for renewed local participation in the public spaces of Intramuros. While we hope to build upon the success of the IA’s public events and community engagement initiatives, we believe that an alternative approach to the existing attitude toward historic preservation and restoration is critical for Intramuros’s continued participation in the rapidly evolving urban landscape of Greater Manila. Rather than rebuilding the site to perfectly Intramuros during site visit.


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Inside Intramuros: A New Architectural Language Our strategy within the walls began with an analysis of available space for intervention and a categorization of those spaces by ease of development. Such spaces include residual space between properties, empty lots, parking lots, teardowns, and informal settlements. Through combining these spaces, we identified a zone of intervention, within which a new network of ground-floor public space and upper-level residential units may be implemented. Based on ease of development, we proposed three phases of this project, beginning with catalyst projects at lots most easily developed (empty lots, parking lots), continuing with a second phase (teardowns, residual spaces), and ending with informal settlement lots, projecting that informal settlers would move from existing places of residence to newly built adjacent residential units. The program at the ground floor would be unique to each new building, responding to adjacent existing uses (schools, art studios and galleries, community gardens, playground, vendors, cafes), completely open to the public, and operated by informal settlers living in new residential units on upper levels. This new network of public space, sustained by Intramuros’s existing resident population, would act as an

interface to bring together the various populations of the walled city. Our architectural language for these mixeduse residences aims to propose an alternative to the current standards of new construction in Intramuros. The current regulations, put in place by the IA, dictate that all new construction be in the language of the Spanish vernacular, or bahay na bato, but we believe that a new, more flexible version of Manila’s historical architecture, which integrates the pre-Spanish vernacular, or bahay kubo, is necessary for meeting the needs of its contemporary population. This new language builds upon the legacy of the bahay kubo and bahay na bato, adapting passive cooling strategies like ventanillas (sliding screens), voladas (perimeter passageways), and courtyards, as well as spatial qualities of flexible partitions and open planning to suit the individual requirements of diverse new populations. Within Intramuros: A New Legacy for the Churches of Intramuros Pre-war Intramuros boasted some of the best and most magnificent churches that exhibited three centuries’ worth of history and religious heritage in the Philippines. Treasures that remain a mere memory of the past were ravaged by the destruction of the city in 1945. Out of the eight churches, only one survived the destruction of the city—one was rebuilt, one was left in ruins, and all the rest were replaced by modern, box buildings, or churches made with cheap materials. Even though most of these churches are now gone, their legacy will always and forever be a part of the Filipino identity. Take, for example, a current and ongoing project at Intramuros: the restoration of San Ignacio Church. While the design intent is to restore the original facade so that it resembles the destroyed church, the result yields an inauthentic expression, replicating the past in the context of the present. Compared to the old church’s interior and facade, this recent design attempts to imitate the construction technique as well as the materiality. In our scope, the restoration of historic heritage is not about the literal form but the lost spirit. Using a tactical restoration design method, our design aims to create spaces with both spiritual reflection and social values. The idea is to use new bamboo structures to create a pavilion and a gallery based on the old sites of the two lost churches. The goal is to restore the rich interior experience of these churches through an abstract and metaphorical design method appropriate to the needs and values of contemporary

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration


imitate its historic form, we hope to learn from and identify thevalue in the layered contributions to the area throughout its history, acknowledging the history of Intramuros in a way that works for contemporary and future Manila. Our ultimate goal is to create a new network of public space that integrates programming that serves all local populations of Intramuros and Greater Manila. In our visit to the site, we observed how the diverse population groups within the walls are informally zoned (the student belt; the tourist route with adjacent office pockets as public front; the hidden informal settler center), and how this creates division between these people and their experiences of Intramuros. We believe that this is a problem inextricable from the lack of public space within and around the walls (indicative of a pervasive problem in Manila) and that the introduction of a new system of public space will create zones of interface between populations vital to the vibrant Intramuros urban life envisioned by the IA. Through a phased plan that reclaims the historic wall and moat and integrates underutilized spaces within Intramuros’s walls, we hope to transform existing spaces of boundary and exclusion into spaces of interaction and integration.

Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Around Intramuros: Wall, Moat, Connections to Greater Manila When it comes to rethinking the wall and moat as connective rather than defensive structures, three aspects are considered as major points of the transformation: the preservation of historic heritage; the ecological functions that deal with issues of the local environment; and the functioning of the site as a connective social space, considering accessibility and programs to serve the local people. The design strategies of the new resilient zone are based on these aspects: 1. Redefining the concept of cultural heritage The rebuilt wall today is more like a symbol for Intramuros, referencing the past without considering the present. Both tourists and local people can only have a thematic experience with limited personal attachment. Rather than rebuilding the site to perfectly imitate its historic form, the design considers water and natural landscape as part of the cultural heritage, learns from and identifies the value in the layered contributions to the area throughout its history, and acknowledges the history of Intramuros in a way that works for contemporary and future Manila.

become the new elevated recreational trail. Based on the three design strategies, a series of detailed designs can be explored through multiple zoomed-in scales. The water filtering system is important for ecological functions as well as the educational aspects such as public engagement. A specific filtering system is created according to the pollution in Pasig River and works efficiently in both the dry and wet seasons. Additionally, due to the scale of the moat, the wind pumps will be used to pump the water up a certain distance to reduce the topography change, and a detailed landform design will promote diverse functions for water, wildlife, and people. New programs and elements will give the historical wall divergent functions and a more fluent connection to the moat. The new zone can be adapted for use by different lives equally and we can expect the new system will continually bring about divergent potentials and possibilities.

2. A hydrological system Because of its tropical climate, Manila has an apparent wet and dry season. The huge volume of rainfall during the wet season can cause serious flooding due to the lack of a sewage system. The historic moat is a natural sponge to collect, clean, and filter the runoff. Another important natural water resource beyond Intramuros is the Pasig River, which is both the oldest river in the Philippines and the most polluted river in the world. The design intends to bring the river water back into the moat during the dry season and guide the polluted water as it travels through a natural filtration system. The refined hydrological system will also create varied habitats for flora and fauna lost to rapid urban development. 3. A new circulation system During the visit to the site, we observed how the diverse population groups and vehicles within the walls are informally zoned and how this creates division between these people and their experiences of Intramuros. The new system of circulation will replan the street usage, improve walkability, and add new access points to connect to the surroundings. The historical wall will

Scan the QR Code to access videos of the Intramuros site.


Manila. In this case, the meaning of landscape architecture has become a trigger of reflection, meditation, and cultural evolution.


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Inside Intramuros: A New Architectural Language

Tourist spine Office pockets Student belt Informal center

Implicit zoning: Populations of Intramuros

Tourists per day 40 percent foreign 60 percent local

Students per day Tourists Students Commuters

Weekday population analysis.

Commuters per day

Informal settlers


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Atmosphere of exclusion: Walls within walls

Intramuros is diverse in its architectural language, including colonial accents, spontaneous settlements and found materials, post war remnants and abandoned buildings.


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Rethinking Rules: Planning for Outdoor Space

Spatial opportunity: Reclaiming the ground floor and public outdoor space

Phase 1: Vacant lots (government owned)

Phase 2: Vacant lots (privately owned) Parking lots Teardown

Phase 3+: Informal settlements

40% open 60% built

60% open 40% built

Linear passages

20% open 80% built

40% open 60% built

Multicenter courtyards

20% open 80% built

40% open 60% built

60% open 40% built

Central courtyards

60% open 40% built

20% open 80% built

40% open 60% built

Gridded courtyards

Open space: 27.8 m2 42.5% of ground floor

Open-air space: 17.5 m2 63% of open space

Built space: 37.6 m2 57.5% of ground floor

Covered open space: 10.5 m2 37% of open space


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

20% open 80% built

60% open 40% built

Roof, outdoor space, and cooling strategies

Building envelope and ventilation

Module, structure, and materials

Bahay Na Bato

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Spatial organization and program


Bahay Kubo Community Bahay


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang The new Intramuros Community Bahay buildings establish their identity from Filipino architectural heritage, informing a new, forward-thinking inclusive and sustainable civic building.


Community Bahay Assembly

Floorplates MEP Circulation Wood frame


Permanent walls

Temporary, adaptable construction: Flexible walls, screens, and partitions

The Community Bahay Assembly building begins with traditional forms and access to a communal center from all sides. A simple grid system is subdivided into programmed spaces. The exterior is informed by traditional screening and focused apertures from within and without.

107 Above: Customizable screen patterning for residential units.

Following spread: The Community Bahay in plan and section.



Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

110 Sections through the Bahay and its central court.


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang The simple grid of the Bahay allows for flexibility. Programming can be distributed based on community need.

112 With a capacity to define the perimeter through movable screens, the community center can be both inviting and secure.


Within Intramuros: A New Legacy for the Churches of Intramuros

Manila Cathedral Constructed in 1571, rebuilt in 1952

San Ignacio Church

San Agustin Church Constructed in 1574, rebuilt in 1606

Existing churches in Intramuros

Santo Domingo Church The current site is occupied by several institutions

San Francisco Church The current site is the Mapua University campus

San Ignacio Church The land is owned by Manila Bulletin Magazine

San Nicolas Church The current site is the University of the City of Manila campus

Destroyed churches

In the decimation of World War II bombings, the sacred spaces and religious icons of the Intramuros were largely destroyed.

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration


Constructed in 1889, under renovation

Rethinking Restoration


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Bamboo joint module

3-D volume

3-D volume variation

The traditions of bamboo scaffolding offer an opportunity to use ephemeral materials to reference what was and what might be, transforming once sacred spaces into experiential forms, once again.

Church 1: Santo Domingo

Current site

Proposed restoration: Holy Pavilion


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Historic Santo Domingo Church

In the place where Santo Domingo once stood, the former plan informs the bamboo construct that suggests space without completely defining it.


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang Light and shadow suggest space without completely defining it, creating an environment that references the past and establishes a new, meditative experience.

Spatial volume: 6 meters

Fountain “sanctuary”

Spatial volume: 4 meters

Vine “wall”

Base frame: 0–2 meters

Historic church building footprint

Water, horticulture, and the traditional temple form of peristyle, hypostyle, and sanctuary combine to establish a new space into which the Intramuros community can gather for both secular and sacred events.

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

3-D view


Top frame: 8 meters


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang Above and following spread: The new space is informed by details from the visual records of Santo Domingo, creating a space that is both familiar and new.

Church 2: San Nicolas

Current site

Proposed restoration: Gallery


Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Historic San Nicolas Church

A new vision for San Nicolas is defined by bamboo scaffolding erected to recall the former church’s massing.


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang There are no walls and no roof; the bamboo establishes spatial relationships defined largely through light and shadow.

Adaptive Reuse of Existing Warehouse

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

Vine planter “church walls”


Botanic garden “sanctuary”

Base frame Circulation

3-D volumes Interior shadows based on frame density


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang The “interior� spaces are tempered from the outside environment by patterned shadow, and still exposed to the elements of sun and rain, offering the opportunity to use horticulture to define a new sanctuary at the center of the construct.

Around Intramuros: Wall, Moat, Connections to Greater Manila

1 12 11


3 10 9

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration


4 5

8 6














The colonial-era fortification walls of the Intramuros establish boundaries for an isolated but diverse community.

Museums and memorials

Park and courtyard

Historical buildings



Private golf course

Public and private green space


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Historical remnants


Vacant lots

12 m

Lots in poor condition

18 m

Abandoned buildings

Existing street width

Parking lots and urban voids

Informal settlements

Tourist zones

Residential buildings

Office zones

Civic buildings

Residential zones


Education zones

Land use

Largely destroyed in American bombing raids during World War II, the recreation of the interior fabric is a mix of faux historic structures and museums, academic institutions, civic buildings, and informal settlements surrounded by the memory of a moat, now a private golf course.


Existing rigid boundary

Potential public spaces


Abandoned buildings

Proposed resilient zone

Interpretation as preservation

By redefining the private golf course as a public park known not only for its social purpose but by its effectiveness as a working piece of infrastructure—one that cleanses water pulled from the Pasig River, establishing an amenity that is equitable, purposeful, and iconic—the new park is a representation of Manila’s progressive future history.

1: Existing wall

Vacant lots

Parking lots

Private golf course

City road


Existing wall

Potential public spaces and circulation network

Resilient zone

2: Introduce a new element to interpret the original form

3: Introduce environmental systems and new ecologies

Water pool

3: Improve accessbility and quality of public spaces


Elevated path Wooden platform


Wildlife habitat


Fitness trail Bike lane

Eating City Plaza Observation platform Farmers’ market

Wall as circulation

City balcony

Observation platform Ampitheater Observation platform Climbing wall

Connect Port

Connect Postal Museum

Connect Port

Connect City Hall

Inner connection node Connection node Major wall loop Major path Axis Inner wall connection

Wall height = 4m

Existing condition


Outdoor cafe

Wall height = 2m Wall height = 3m Wall height = 3m Storage Major node

Taking advantage of the perimeter wall and the elevated existing condition, new programming dramakes use of elevated prospects drawing citizenry to a new panoramic view, and new circulation paths are applied to make strategic connections.

Connect Rizal Park

Intramuros: Redefining Restoration

New program

Fort Santiago

Overlay: Soil foundation for planting

New stair: Access top of wall

Bridge: Between wall and covered spaces

Attach to wall structure: Create access to outside Intramuros


Zheng Alan Cong, Peilin Li, Paris Nelson, Bailun Zhang

Dig in: Thicker soil for planting

Slope typology 1

Slope typology 2

Strategies for engaging in and occupying the perimeter wall are explored for social engagement that brings new life and meaning to the colonial fortification.

Bridge: Between buildings and wall

Slope typology 3

Water Treatment, Recreation, and Biodiversity

Viewing platform Plants as fence Ramp

Study model

Settled sediment


Sight corridor

Water treatment prototypes Atlas moth Attacus atlas

Streaked reed warbler Acrocephalus sorghophilus

Sedimentation Discharging

Gallery: Restored heritage

Redefining the private golf course as a living machine offers opportunities for stormwater abatement, river water cleansing, biodiversity, equitable social engagement, and healthful urban living.


Education node

Bridge: Connection to next tower (wall)

Terraced wetland Slip-off bank Undercut bank

Gravity-driven water flow Strengthen flow Gravel bank

Plant island

Cross section

Strengthen flow

Water flow

Water flow Pink-bellied imperial pigeon Ducula poliocephala


Philippine duck Anas luzonica

Philippine flat-headed frog Barbourula busuangensis

Spotted greenshank Tringa guttifer

Magellan birdwing Troides magellanus

Streaked reed warbler Acrocephalus sorghophilus


Infiltration Biological Purification



Art museum Wooden deck

Fitness trail

Bridge: Connection to main trail


Adaptive Reuse of the Wall

Above and following spread: Adaptive reuse of the perimeter fortification wall offers a diversity of new functions, from renewable energy sources to active child play.


Child play pools


Sand pit

Existing wall




This and following spread: Final review, Piper Auditorium, Harvard GSD, May 2018.

David Rubin

“Be prepared for sensory overload! In the city, one experiences extremes of stimulation.” This was our introduction to Manila—a warning issued by one of our AECOM colleagues as we landed for our initial reconnaissance visit in the fall of 2017. The caution became increasingly real as we traveled over an hour to traverse five kilometers to the hotel—a distance easily negotiated on foot at greater speed, but an impossibility given the lack of infrastructure and traffic congestion between the airport and our accommodations. What we found upon our initial exploration of Manila surpassed that early admonition: extraordinary extremes in so many aspects of living. To circumnavigate the inner city took the entire day, moving slowly through congested passageways and connector roads filled with cars, motorcycles, jitneys, and trucks of all sizes, moving lugubriously through the streets and avenues—a perpetual traffic jam. Their exhaust combined with factories and infrastructure made the act of breathing a challenge, irritating the back of the throat, making it tough to swallow, and stinging the eyes. The waterways and tributaries along the Pasig River and along the bulkheads of Manila Bay were rich in the stench of raw sewage, and mired in islands of plastic and garbage. But perhaps the most affecting aspect of this “sensory overload” was the extremes of living conditions and the disparate accommodations for those with economic challenges. As Špela Videčnik and I toured the city in search of an area upon which to focus the studio, it was clear there was nothing we could do, even as a multi-disciplinary design studio aimed at problem-solving, to comprehensively

improve these challenging conditions. The sensory overload was overwhelming. Too much. Too much trash, too much pollution, too much traffic and congestion, and too many people, most of them impoverished—an entire social construct where few have too much wealth, while far more have nothing. But as sensory overload was tempered by additional time and thoughtfulness, the overwhelming scale of the scenario became more manageable. After reviewing city maps, a confluence was identified wherein four distinctly different but significantly impactful conditions met. They represented in individuality and in collective adjacency many of the challenges facing this extraordinary city and so many other growing metropolises across the globe: elevating population density, acute economic extremes, a post-colonial legacy, multicultural palimpsests, pollution, rising sea levels, spontaneous settlements, and civic engagement. The selected sites were identified as the Baseco compound, a densely populated spontaneous settlement formed on the detritus of landfill set within Manila Bay; the Port, Manila’s infrastructure for commerce that positioned truck traffic in the core of the city; the Intramuros, the city’s Spanish colonial fortification whose interior architecture is an imagined post-war reconstruction of what American bombing had destroyed; and the Pasig Riverfront, Manila’s contaminated brackish fluvial connection from Manila Bay to Laguna Bay. As identified, the selected areas of study represent in microcosm much of Metro Manila’s greatest challenges: the convergence of transport and infrastructure, colonial settlement, post-industrial urbanism, and extreme habitation; the union of past and future histories (the colonial outpost of Intramuros, Daniel Burnham’s Beaux

Boats in the Baseco area.


Reflections on Cacophony: What Might Be

Port’s truck traffic and diesel engines add to the eternal congestion of Manila’s roadways and feed the ever-increasing pollution-heavy air. In a move to reduce the congestion and liberate the waterfront, the Port team reconsiders the value of commerce against the opportunity for increased and diversified habitation and uninterrupted access to the water’s edge, as well as increased protections against sea level rise and storm surges. In a balancing act of industry and urbanism, the team revisits the expanse of the site in search of establishing a new community capable of providing future habitation for the breadth of the citizenry, with aspirations of accommodating a missing middle class. The connective tissue is the equitable asset which brings the new neighborhood together. The Pasig River connects Manila Bay with Laguna Bay 22 kilometers to the east. An underutilized asset, the brackish river is highly polluted and clinging to life as part of the region’s ecological systems. Access to the river is limited and barely desirable given the pollutant and contamination levels, and yet the river has the potential to be a socially purposeful asset, connecting neighborhoods and giving communities identity along a long, sinuous thread, as well as a revivified environmental element in support of the region. The Pasig River team envisions a river of floating forms that serve to redefine the social edge and embankment of the river while providing incremental and additive water-cleansing and habitat mechanisms. In this construct, people are invited to experience the river as an asset wherein episodic elements amalgamate to form infrastructure for boat and ferry traffic, markets, performance venues, and socially purposeful constructs to give Filipinos the opportunity to experience the river in a manner not dissimilar to the early settlers of the region. It is not enough to apply artifice along a river’s edge to instigate developmental change. Such an approach might temporarily address the challenges aesthetically, but would fail to drive a needed, long-term mindset shift about the value of the river and its ecosystem. As described here, constructs must include elements to engineer change in support of life in all its forms, however incremental—ecological and social interventions that are seamlessly interwoven to positively inform habitation and development holistically. Here, small interventions aggregate to inform big changes. Within the Baseco compound, a spontaneous settlement built upon layers of detritus and landfill forming new ground in Manila Bay, the structures are largely comprised of materials

Reflections on Cacophony: What Might Be


Arts implementation, and infill of the Bay to create more land); water’s edge, both river and bay, and the inherent challenges associated with sea level rise, a need for biological diversity, and elevated environmental degradation. Each sites also represents the breadth of a challenged population, from spontaneous settlements to an ever-shrinking middle class. Within the colonial constructs of the Intramuros is a diverse population comprised of daily office workers, tourists, students, and settlements of citizenry who have staked a claim for themselves in between the formal grid of an urbanism redefined after the bombardment and decimation by American bombing in World War 2. The architecture of the site is not genuine. Rather, it is a response to a need to reestablish an identity for the colonial fortification, offering tourists and nationalists an understandable identity. Around the perimeter of Intramuros, the former defensive moat was transformed into a semi-private golf course—a use of limited purpose. The proposed interventions attempt to address the challenges of habitation within the walls—a solution is sought to give place to those who have no “formal” habitation, as well as to reinforce community, establish key linkages both within and without the walls, reimagine the sacred spaces for communal engagement, and redefine the singular use of the links into working infrastructure that serves many and with multiple purposes. Working within the vernacular, a new housing typology is derived from the tradition of the bahay, one that attempts to engage community and give opportunity to positively inform habitation while establishing identity through creativity, rather than through historicism. On the sites of lost sacred spaces, the use of indigenous bamboo gives form and space to ritual matriculation and thoughtful contemplation. The team established a new vision for the limited engagement and expansive golf course, replacing the singular use with a park that balances infrastructure and water cleansing properties with equitable social engagement. The new surroundings complement the adjacent City Beautiful construct with a 21st-century progressive parkland that establishes Manila as a forward-thinking metropolis. As one of the world’s most populous cities set within an island environment, Manila is dependent upon manufacture and trade. The Port of Manila is presently situated at the northern shores of its historic core, creating an unceremonious conclusion to Burnham’s esplanade and isolating the Intramuros in solitude along the Pasig River. A walled construct itself, the

of housing types, significant and valuable public spaces, and infrastructure that allows for productivity and a future of opportunity. At the conclusion of the studio, it became clear that, even in what can be perceived as overwhelming circumstances—the sensory overload that is everyday life for so many—there are strategic opportunities. Incremental steps might support significant positive change, and the network of imagined interventions embraced the cacophony of stimulation head on. And although not every issue was resolved, penultimate visions established a direction to follow. If there is future study, the next steps would be to consider in greater detail the connections between the project areas, to understand more completely how and where the inherent issues overlap and intermingle. A necessity of future aspirations is the need to stitch the sites together, and to demonstrate how these distinctly different urban experiences—urban fabrics—can be made whole cloth. They will be ideas worth exploring further to see where and how they might positively inform other locations, not just in Manila, but throughout the globe. Therein lies the ultimate challenge: tangents become aligned cohesively, representing a new vision of Manila and Future Habitations, everywhere.

Following spread: The Intramuros site visit.


David Rubin

found or purchased through minimal economic means. But within the rabbit warren of passageways and limited infrastructure, there is a genuine and thriving community. How can future habitation support this economically challenged community aspirational of a positive future without displacement or eradication of what is inherently good about the difficult environment in which they live? Envisioned here, the Baseco team explores the spectrum of opportunities for redefining future habitation: through a modular architecture that supports the relative permanence of ephemeral necessities such as water, energy, life-supporting infrastructure; and through the super-structure of an exoskeleton that offers similar opportunities to reinforce the necessities of life but in support of the eccentricities of individual and collective dwellings. In both cases, the landscape is the connective tissue that embraces the community as a whole. It is productive, increasingly resilient, embracing of life and the expanse of the people it supports. Evolutionary change begins with a catalytic spark—a moment in which the tipping point shifts from one destiny to another. Through the process of study, it is clear that incremental, additive application is what is needed to truly render a positive impact. In the construct of the Manila studio, the challenge became quickly evident: what obstacles can also be opportunities? In its present state, inequity and separation are manifest in the city’s organization and the resultant divisions. In the studio’s explorations, inventive solutions become the identity of Manila: design problem-solving in which citizens can see themselves as integral to the prospective positive outcome. They are Manila. In the face of all of the challenges identified by the students of this studio, the overriding goal was to positively inform the human condition. There is a place for everyone in a well-designed city. The goal of the studio was to find a better condition than what is prevalent, and to work with the constraints of the existing conditions to find opportunity for all—not only for human habitation, but the unification of all systems, natural and man-made, into a harmonious whole. Aspirationally, there is a new urban condition that is realized in a unified fabric of dwellings and public spaces, where infrastructure and accessibility are not mutually exclusive, but rather supportive of the common good. The goal of the studio is to recognize opportunity and demonstrate how, through urbanization, the stratification of the economic conditions can be reconsidered into a new model, one where there is a greater opportunity through a variety



David Rubin David Rubin is the founding principal of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, a landscape architecture and urban design studio committed to practicing with an emphasis on socially purposeful design strategies. Educated at Connecticut College and Harvard University, he has taught and lectured at a number of institutions, including the Harvard GSD, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and Southern California Institute of Architecture. Rubin is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and will be invested as Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in October 2018. His projects have received awards and honors from the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects, among others. Rubin founded DAVID RUBIN Land Collective to devote himself to crafting landscapes that affect positive social change through empathy-driven design. He is responsible for the design of Canal Park in Washington, DC; Lenfest Plaza at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the University of Pennsylvania’s new Pennovation Campus, both in Philadelphia; as well as “The Commonground” at Eskenazi Health Hospital, the Indianapolis Museum of Art Master Plan, and the Cummins DBU Headquarters, all in Indianapolis. His current work includes the 25mile White River Master Plan, Grand Junction Plaza in Westfield, Indiana, the Downtown Strategic Development Plan for the City of Columbus, Indiana, as well as the Riverfront Master Plan for Wilmington, Delaware. His studio’s work includes diverse typologies in locations from Los Angeles to Rome, New York City, Washington, DC, the Cayman Islands, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Philadelphia.

Rok Oman and Špela Videčnik Rok Oman and Špela Videčnik, both graduates of the University of Ljubljana School of Architecture and the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London, established OFIS arhitekti in 1996, based in Ljubljana, Paris, and Moscow. Since its creation, the practice has received several awards and was invited to participate in Architecture Biennials in Venice, Moscow, and Beijing. OFIS works and communicates at an international level, taking part in competitions, lectures, and discourses. The practice has recently completed construction of a student residence in Paris and the football stadium Borisov Arena in Belarus, and are currently working on a Sportscomplex in Moscow. The activities of OFIS date to the 1990s, a particularly exciting yet difficult period for the former Yugoslavian republics undergoing intense self-reevaluation and reinvention, economically and culturally. OFIS managed to impress with original thinking and clear concepts, winning several competitions including Ljubljana City Museum and Maribor Stadium. They’ve worked with various national and international clients from the private and commercial sectors, and state institutions. OFIS tries to find an issue with the brief, client, material, structural constraints, or site. In this way limitations become inspiration for difference and create identity—something that makes their work distinct—by using tactics of not surpassing, confronting, ignoring, or disobeying rules or limitations. Through their research and charity they have built and tested several units of habitations in extreme environments. They have taught at the Harvard GSD since 2012, and are also faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Val de Seine.

Pavlina Ilieva Pavlina Ilieva, AIA, is program director of the Undergraduate Architecture and Environmental Design Program at Morgan State University. She is the recipient of two ACSA Architectural Education Awards: 2016–2017 Diversity Achievement Award and 2017–2018 Housing Design Education Award. In 2018, Pavlina joined the Landscape Architecture Foundation as CSI Fellow studying high-performance landscapes and transdisciplinary design strategies. Her research interests include regenerative urban redevelopment and Integrated Design/ Production Processes. Ilieva is principal and cofounder of PI.KL Studio—an interdisciplinary studio practicing

architecture, design/build, and microdevelopment. Her prior professional experience and subsequent collaborations span from boutique residential and commercial projects to institutional and urban design proposals. Ilieva’s design work and various collaborations have been published nationally and abroad and have received local and state AIA Excellence in Design and Urban Land Institute Awards. Mohsen Mostafavi Mohsen Mostafavi, architect and educator, is Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the Harvard GSD. His work focuses on modes and processes of urbanization and on the interface between technology and aesthetics. Mohsen was formerly the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University where he was also the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture. Previously, he was the chairman of the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London. He studied architecture at the AA and undertook research on counterreformation urban history at the Universities of Essex and Cambridge. Mostafavi is the author, coauthor, and editor of many books, including Ecological Urbanism (coedited 2010 and recently translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish), Architecture is Life (2013), Nicholas Hawksmoor: The London Churches (2015), Portman’s America & Other Speculations (2017), and Ethics of the Urban: The City and the Spaces of the Political (2017).


Sean Chiao Sean Chiao is president, Asia Pacific, at AECOM, a premier, fully integrated infrastructure firm that designs, builds, finances, and operates assets for governments, businesses, and organizations in more than 150 countries. He oversees AECOM’s business and over 12,000 employees across Greater China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Chiao has spearheaded strategic, award-winning master plans for new towns and the regeneration of existing urban landscapes, including the Kuala Lumpur River of Life; the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor; the redevelopment of Metro Manila Fort Bonifacio’s financial district in the Philippines; and the rejuvenation of Suzhou Industrial Park in China. A proponent of collaboration for holistic solutions and inspiring future talent, Sean was responsible for the publication Jigsaw City (2016) as well as AECOM’s collaboration with the Harvard GSD to further urban research and design studies on the issues surrounding Asia’s rising urbanism.


Manila: Future Habitations Instructors Rok Oman, David Rubin, Špela Videčnik Report Design Mikhail Grinwald A Harvard University Graduate School of Design Publication Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design Mohsen Mostafavi Assistant Dean and Director for Communications and Public Programs Ken Stewart Editor in Chief Jennifer Sigler Associate Editor Marielle Suba Production Manager Meghan Sandberg Series design by Laura Grey and Zak Jensen ISBN 978-1-934510-69-8 Copyright © 2018 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The editors have attempted to acknowledge all sources of images used and apologize for any errors or omissions. Harvard University Graduate School of Design 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138

Acknowledgments We wish to thank, once again, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Mohsen Mostafavi; Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Anita Berrizbeitia; and Chair of the Department of Architecture, Mark Lee, and Interim Chair of the Department of Architecture, K. Michael Hays, for the opportunity to instruct this studio and for their enthusiastic support throughout the semester. We are also grateful to Sean Chiao, President of AECOM Asia Pacific, for proposing the study of Manila as the final city in this extraordinary series of explorations, his engagement and feedback throughout the semester, and for supporting the studio, along with his colleague, Nancy Lin, and the many AECOM representatives who engaged in the field. Many thanks to the participants at the Manila Forum who assisted the students in understanding the breadth of issues and challenges that face this city and the citizenry on a daily basis. Thanks to Jackie Piracini, Anna Lyman, Ashley Lang, Taylor Horner, and the Harvard GSD administration for their help. A special offer of thanks to Gareth Doherty for stepping up when desperately needed, and to Karen Janosky for her topographic practicum. We extend our gratitude to the studio’s midterm and final jury critics for their important words during reviews, and, of course, to the students for all of their hard work, without whom these visions would not be possible. We also wish to extend our appreciation to our former teaching assistant, Mikhail Grinwald, for his efforts in the realization of this book. Finally, special thanks to our teaching assistant this year, William Baumgardner, for his boundless energy and extraordinary patience throughout the semester. Without his participation, this studio would not be measured by the success it has achieved. Image Credits 4, 6, 14–15, 58, 146-147: AECOM Cover, 8, 10, 12-13, 16, 18–19, 20, 23: Rok Oman 138-139, 140-141: Maggie Janik 78, 96: David Rubin

Studio Report Spring 2018

Harvard GSD Departments of Architecture / Landscape Architecture

Students Cy Chang, Emmanuel Coloma, Zheng Alan Cong, Rose Lee, Peilin Li, Yinan Liu, Chenghao Lyu, Paris Nelson, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Luisa PiĂąeros SĂĄnchez, Julio Torres Santana, Chi-Hsuan Wang, Bailun Zhang

ISBN 978-1-934510-69-8

9 781934 510698

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