We’re honored to be a recipient of the Ani ng Dangal Award 2023 given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts yesterday at the Malacañang Palace for our project Batangas Forest City. A big congratulations to the team!
The award was given during the 2023 National Arts Month as enshrined in Presidential Proclamation No. 683, with the theme, “Ani ng Sining, Bunga Ng Galing.”
One of the highlights of the festival was the 15th Gawad ng Ani ng Dangal. The ceremony recognized the sterling achievements of Filipino artists who have brought honor to the country by winning the highest achievements in international competitions and events in their respective fields.
The Ani ng Dangal or Harvest of Honor is an annual celebration that recognizes homegrown artists who received esteemed international accolades in the categories of Architecture and Allied Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, and Broadcast Arts. It serves as the highlight and culmination of National Arts Month.
Kicking off 2023 with another triumph, WTA Architecture and Design Studio rank 96th in this year’s WA100 2023: The Big List! WA100 is an annual survey of the top 100 architecture firms worldwide compiled by Building Design, a top UK-based online publication for the profession.
Our multidisciplinary practice, headquartered in the Philippines, continues to transform lives and enrich experiences by shaping cityscapes across the Philippines and beyond. WTA has secured a spot as one of the major players as it continues to make headway in upcoming international markets.
The WA100 is an annual global survey conducted by Building Design on the world’s largest architecture companies.
An urban forest city and a security complex featuring a forested facade are among the award-winning projects designed by Manila-based firm, WTA Architecture and Design Studio.
Founded by William Ti in 2007, WTA was hailed as the overall winner of the 2021 WAFX Awards during last year’s World Architecture Festival after first winning the WAFX Water Category.
Now celebrating its 15th year, WTA continues to bring the practice of social architecture front and center in the fields of master planning and urban design. The studio’s great social awareness and commitment to change have produced extraordinarily creative responses, as they now embark on the journey to turn these innovative ideas into practical urban solutions.
“Master planning projects allow us to affect a more diverse demographic profile. A multi-sectoral approach to designing spaces for people gives us the opportunity to address complex issues that make living in a city undesirable and turn these challenges into desirable growth. The master plans that we do focus on communities and social development, which explore new technologies and comprehensive research in order to establish sustainable, organic, and hyper-local development.”
Below is a list of international awards recently won by WTA:
Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2022
Award: Gold Winner
Project: Horizon Manila: Manileño
Category: Urban Planning
The Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine architecture design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. It is a forum that examines the relationship between architecture and the natural world, architecture and the community, and the architects and the city.
Last May 4, 2022, WTA Architecture and Design Studio was announced as a Gold Award Winner for its project Horizon Manila.
International Architecture Awards 2022
Project: Horizon Manila: Manileño
Category: Urban Planning / Landscape Architecture
Founded in 2005 by The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre, the prestigious International Architecture Awards takes place every year to recognize the most significant and inspirational building and urban planning projects around the world.
Last September 9, Horizon Manila was part of a distinct selection of architecture and design projects honored in a special awards ceremony and Gala Dinner held at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
The project is designed to span 419-hectares and will be the first and largest reclamation project in the City of Manila in over a century. It is meant to serve as a new hub for growth and development for one of the densest and largest megacities in the 21st century.
Iconic Awards 2022: Innovative Architecture
Award: Best of the Best Award Winner
Project: Batangueño – Batangas Forest City
Category: Concept (Urban Planning)
Another master planning project by WTA called the Batangas Forest City won a Best of the Best Award in the ICONIC AWARDS 2022 under Innovative Architecture. This award gives recognition to holistic projects in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, product design, and brand communication.
The core aim of the Batangas Forest City was to create a sustainable project that rekindles the connection between people and nature through architecture and urbanism.
“The project Batangas Forest City ideally embodies the vision of modern urban planning, which reconciles residential space and nature and as a result creates a location that promises a high standard of living,” said the master jury. “The fact that the focus of the planning was not just limited to living, working, leisure and recreation, but also took the subjects of industry and agriculture into account, shows just how holistic the thought behind it was. An impressive project, which despite its great complexity, was carefully thought-out, down to the tiniest detail, and is immensely important for the region.”
The project was honored during a festive awards ceremony last October 5, 2022 at the BMW Welt in Munich, Germany.
World Architecture Festival 2022
Project: Batangueño – Batangas Forest City
Category: WAF Future Project: Masterplanning
The Batangas Forest City project also qualified as a finalist in this year’s World Architecture Festival: Future Projects Shortlist.
Project: BSP Security Plant Complex
Category: WAF Future Project: Competition
Also shortlisted was the firm’s proposed design for the BSP Security Plant Complex. The project was WTA’s entry in the design competition for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) sprawling 31.3-hectare security complex in New Clark City, Philippines.
This unique public building features a foundation clad in raw metals like copper and zinc, nestled between lush sanctuaries that create a rich hotspot for biodiversity. Its most prominent feature, the living forested facade, is capable of housing over 250 endemic Philippine trees and shrubs.
The team will be presenting both projects live to the judges and audience in Lisbon, Portugal from 30 November to 2 December.
Design Studio Mag Awards 2022
Award: Winner (top 10)
Project: Batangueño – Batangas Forest City
Category: Urban Design
The Batangas Forest City is also one of the ten recipients of the Design Studio Mag (DSM) 2022 Award. The project was recognized by a multidisciplinary panel of industry experts for its ideas on community building, sustainability, and spatial and environmental form integrated into the master plan making it the best in the Urban Design category.
Manila – Last May 4, 2022, WTA Architecture and Design Studio was announced a Gold Award Winner for Architecture Press Release’s Urban Design and Architecture Design Awards 2022 for its project Horizon Manila.
WTA Horizon Manila Urban Design and Architecture Design Gold Winner
The Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards is one of the world’s most prestigious awards for Architecture & Design. It recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine architecture design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. It is a forum that examines the relationship between architecture and the natural world, architecture and the community, and the architects and the city.
March 9, 2022 – Two groundbreaking events took place in Catbalogan City, Samar for the Antiao Riverwalk Project and the Catbalogan City Hall. The two projects are meant to serve the communities of Catbalogan City.
The Antiao Riverwalk project intends to be a place of refuge in the city by encouraging a vibrant environment through a network of public open spaces connected by a link of active pathways.
The concept is rooted in the relationship between the locality of the site to water, which has given importance to places for shelter and protection for seafarers and fishermen.
The Sky City Hall will be the new city hall in Catbalogan. The project will take up 2 hectares of the 440-hectare Sky City development. It will serve as an expansion from the current city hall with a goal to masterplan and pioneer mountaintop sustainable living as a model for future developments.
Sky City aims to tackle these issues as it will be built 120 meters above sea level, creating opportunities for development while being naturally sheltered by the mountain ranges. It will be designed to include residential, commercial, and governmental cores that will be powered from renewable sources, and will be planned together with pedestrian and cyclist-friendly spaces to reduce transport emissions.
To culminate this year’s National Arts Month, the The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) awarded 58 artists from various fields at its annual Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) ceremony on March 23 via Facebook live.
For its achievement as the overall winner of the 2021 WAFX Award at the 2021 World Architecture Festival, WTA Architecture and Design Studio is one of two awardees under the Architecture and Allied Arts Category.
“The overall winner of this year’s #WAFX goes to ‘Horizon Manila’ by William Ti, Jr., a 419-hectare masterplan designed to serve as a new hub for growth and development for the Philippines’ capital. The Award recognises project proposals tackling today’s global issues. #WAF2021,” World Architecture Festival stated in a post on their official Twitter page on December 4.
The Ani ng Dangal recognizes Filipino artists who have earned distinguished international awards and accolades in the categories of: Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Folk Arts, and Broadcast Arts. This year’s theme was “Sining ng Pag-asa” (Arts of Hope).
WTA, along with other awardees, will be receiving the Sarimanok trophy sculpted by National Artist for Visual Arts, Abdulmari Asia Imao. The trophy depicts a transformed sarimanok, a mythical bird of the Maranaos, soaring above a globe that symbolizes the height of artistic achievement in the global stage.
Horizon Manila: Manileño
Horizon Manila: Manileño is a 419-hectare reclamation project located in Manila, the Philippine capital, masterplanned by WTA. The development seeks to rediscover and embrace the city’s role as the heart and soul of the country. With the vision to build 28 distinct communities, Horizon Manila aims to integrate the needs of our social and cultural heritages while adapting a sustainable lifestyle that emphasizes self-sufficiency, climatic adaptations, and cultural resiliency.
WTA sees Horizon as a City of Tomorrow. It is envisioned to once again bring back development and growth energy back to the City of Manila. It will reestablish Manila as the heart of our nation and provide a model and impetus for the rehabilitation of the old city center.
Chinese New Year is a yearly celebration that marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year. The holiday marks the start of the new year of traditional lunisolar calendars, and it is now observed around the world.
Today, Spring Festival is celebrated in China and Hong Kong; Lunar New Year is also celebrated in the Philippines, Tibet, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and places with large Chinese populations. Though the festival varies by country, it is dominated by themes of rebirth, reunion, and hope.
With the arrival of the year of the Tiger, Archinect highlighted “a selection of built projects by architecture and design firms across East and Southeast Asia”, listing WTA’s Twelve Luxury Flats among the pile.
Twelve Luxury Flats
The practicality of vertical living meets the comfort of an urban townhouse in this sixteen-storey residential condominium rising on a 586 square meter lot in an upscale neighborhood in San Juan City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Each of the twelve luxurious residential flats is programmed to have generous spaces with day lighting and ventilation on all four faces of every unit. At one floor per unit, it offers the luxury of living in an expansive space with unrestricted views.
The residential units are planned to cater to a unique setting of both private moments and social gatherings. The plan centers around a living and dining suite bounded by floor to ceiling windows that open up to a luxurious veranda. This personal yet very open space allows for a blurring of the indoor and outdoor and creates an affinity with the sky.
WTA Architecture and Design Studio was commended for their recognition in the World Architecture Festival 2021 alongside other Filipino architects. Below is an excerpt from the article written by Maurice Arcache and published in Philippines Star.
Congratulations to renowned Filipino designers architect William Ti, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda and architect Jason Buensalido for receiving high commendations for their groundbreaking entries at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2021, one of the world’s most prestigious annual festivals and annual awards ceremonies dedicated to architecture and the development industry, palanggas.
Ti of WTA Architecture and Design Studio’s Horizon Manila reclamation masterplan was declared the “Project of the Year” at the World Architecture Futures (WAFX). His other project, the Emergency Quarantine Facility, was also an entry to the WAF.
Brilliant designers Layug and Pineda of the BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design were highly commended by a panel of international designers for their New Clark City Athletic Stadium project under the Completed Buildings–Sport category.
Nine Filipino projects made it to World Architecture Festival 2021. (Top row, from left) Memory Hall Imprints by architect Jaemi Cruz and interior designer Jesy Cruz; The New Clark City Athletic Stadium by architect Royal Pineda; Freedom Memorial Museum by architect Jason Buensalido; Farms of Feasts by architect Yonni Habulan; Horizon Manila and Emer-gency Quarantine Facility by architect William Ti; Interweave Building by architect Jason Buensalido; Cabaña de Resureccion by architect Jorge Yulo; and Cagbalete Sand Clusters by architect Carlo Calma. Photos by Alex Van Hagen powered by MAC Cente
Horizon Manila by WTA Architecture and Design Studio is an answer to these questions. No wonder it won big at the 2021 World Architecture Festival — winner for the WAFX Water Category, and overall winner of the 2021 WAFX Award. According to William Ti Jr., principal architect of WTA Architecture and Design Studio, “When I think of tomorrow, all I want to see and hear are children playing and laughing; creating memories in thriving communities. The future is all about the next generation. It is about us finding a way to prosper in the human environments we have built for ourselves.”
Anchored on this vision, Ti and his team conceptualized Horizon Manila, a 419-hectare reclamation project in Manila Bay that seeks to house 150,000 Manileños. It will be composed of three islands connected by a canal park. The aim is to grow 28 diverse communities similar to how we have barangays. These communities will grow around schools, churches, ball courts, parks, museums, theaters, and shopping centers. These communities will naturally grow together through shared experiences.
HYPER LOCAL COMMUNITIES – Each of the communities in Horizon Manila are distinct and detailed to create hyper local communities
Green, walkable, sustainable
Horizon Manila or Manileño will be a green space. It will increase the available public open space by over 50 percent in the city with its canal park and provide almost 20-kilometer of waterfront living. There will be tree-lined sidewalks and bike lanes, arcaded walkways, and a tram line that connects the three islands.
Over 70 percent of the shoreline will be planted with mangroves. This will allow people to walk all the way to the water’s edge and enjoy walks by the shore with the sunset and the skyline view. Ti said they want people to reconnect with nature and appreciate public space.
AERIAL VIEW of the three islands of Horizon Manila with Manila in the background.
“We are building a city where you are always 400 meters away from the nearest tram or ferry station and anywhere in the three islands is always just 15 minutes away. More than half of Horizon’s streetscape will be primarily pedestrian,” said Ti.
Another interesting detail of the project is the plan to harvest rainwater to solve water scarcity. Ti explained that Horizon will provide over three million cubic meters of freshwater reserve by collecting the annual rainfall. The projection is that the water reservoir can provide five months’ worth of freshwater to the city. Manila, reimagined
While Horizon Manila is forward-looking, it remains rooted on the heritage of Manila.
The reintroduction of canals, reservoirs, and waterways aims to rekindle the memory of what it means to be Tagalog, to live by the river.
CANAL PARK – The Canal Park at Horizon Manila acts as the main spine around which the communities will grow.
Dec. 10, 2021, Manila, Philippines – Horizon Manila by WTA Architecture and Design Studio is the 2021 WAFX Project of the Year at the 2021 World Architecture Festival (WAF). The project was awarded as the winner of the WAFX Water Category in July 3, 2021 and was announced overall winner during the last session of the last day of WAF, December 3, 2021. The WAFX Award herald’s the world’s most forward-looking architectural concepts, and is awarded to future projects that identify key challenges that architects will need to address in the coming years.
Horizon Manila is a 419-hectare reclamation project that is currently the largest reclamation project in the City of Manila. The project is meant to serve as a new hub for growth and development for one of the densest and largest mega cities of the 21st century. Its concept – the Manileño – presents a bottom-up community-centric organic growth model in contrast with the archetypal command-driven top-down master plan. It centers on creating shared experiences and building distinct community identities by establishing soft boundaries and edges.
This masterplan is composed of 3 islands bisected by a 4 km long canal park that recalls the identity of the Tagalog (River) people who settled along the mouth of the Pasig River. It focuses on people and local activities as the main determinant for diverse and organic growth. The goal is to grow 28 unique communities or barangays along the water’s edge. Each of the 28 communities will have its own development guidelines and will promote mixed-use development in each locality. Barrier-free developments with complete accessibility for all, such as open spaces and parks, will be obligatory and urban infrastructure promoting social connectivity will be the defining framework for the city. Shared experiences that tie the communities together are developed through activated public spaces with programs that strengthen the vitality of the streetscape. Placemaking features that stimulate local experiences define these spaces. They range from the ubiquitous streetball culture of Manila to lush tropical gardens, from water gardens to civic and religious plazas. Each place is a kernel of ground activity that evokes the culture and lifestyle of Manileños.