Metro Manila continues to witness major transformations on its landscape. Horizon Manila is envisioned to be a new center of development for Mega Manila. Its location in the City of Manila ensures a much needed growth area for the core of the city in the National Capital Region and the country. The City of Manila is one of the densest city in the world with an immense need for land to alleviate congestion and allow for the development of urban amenities that could better fit our modern lifestyles.
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.
This master plan 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. Manila is composed of 16 distinct districts and 897 barangays (neighborhoods) which reflect the hyperlocal settlement patterns of its people. The history and culture of the city is defined by the character and variety of these settlements. which together have created a vibrant mixture of people and places.
The proposed development focuses on people and local activities as the main determinant for diverse and organic growth. 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.
A Model for Modern Manila
Green and Water Systems
Horizon Manila will double the amount of available open space in Manila. These communal spaces will serve to bring people together and contribute to the overall health and well-being of its citizens and reduce increasing levels of spatial anxiety and stress. Manileños will enjoy over 800 linear meters of green edges along with 83 hectares of open green space covering about a fifth of its total area. It will also have over 18 hectares of urban waters which will act together with a pair of desalination plants and water collection and treatment facilities to provide over 2 million cubic meters of freshwater, enough to cover the water supply of its residents for 150 days.
Mobility and circulation
Horizon Manila will reinforce the personal mobility of its residents by providing 5 to 8 meter-wide arcaded sidewalks throughout the 3 islands. Urban clusters also provide shaded oases that create human scale interest points with 5-minute walking distance. Dedicated pedestrian lanes with exclusive cycling, and pedestrian bridges ensure continuous travel throughout the city. Furthermore, an integrated transportation system with trackless electric trams, water taxis and ferries. Stops and stations are mapped out to only be 400 meters away from adjacent stops. This ensures that everywhere in the city will be reachable in 10-20 minutes.
Hyperlocal Communities and Distinct Places
A network of public spaces in each community along with various waterfronts serves not only to encourage a vibrant streetscape but also to connect people by hosting a diverse range of activities. From the traditional Manila streetball culture to botanical gardens and from water gardens to sunset boardwalks, these attractions provide distinct and easily accessible activities for each of the 28 communities.
Urban Hierarchies and boundaries
The various communities will each develop their own unique typologies with building envelopes that form an urban valley. Together with defined edges and boundaries, this urban geography will facilitate the growth of distinct communities that will each have its own character and language.
The master plan focuses on people and local lifestyles as the main determinant for diverse and organic growth. 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 will be encouraged and urban infrastructure promoting social connectivity will be the defining framework for the city.
The central canal park becomes the main highlight of the Manileño concept. It creates a unique and enriching feature for the wellness of all its residents. The canal park not only connects the 3 islands but also provides Horizon with a public park at its core. It stretches all the way to the water’s edge, ensuring that the Manila Bay sunset will always belong to the public.
All the roads will be tree-lined and will feature 8m wide sidewalks with 3m arcades that guarantees a comfortable walk in the shade or away from the rain anywhere in Horizon. The development emphasizes personal mobility with pedestrian and bike lanes. In addition, it looks to encourage a car-free lifestyle for most of its residents.
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 will be obligatory and urban infrastructure promoting social connectivity will be the defining framework for the city.
Horizon Manila is an alternative planning model for the megacities of tomorrow. Hyperlocal, intimate, accessible and socially connected. These are the features that will allow us to function in the increasingly massive and dense urban regions of our world.
The three islands of Horizon Manila are arranged East to West with the long faces along the north-south axis. The individual parcels are also arranged accordingly allowing each building to minimize heat gain. The vertical massing of the masterplan creates clustered towers that keep certain areas shaded all day. Ensuring that you are never too far from a cooler part of the development. This tropically appropriate and locally suited planning combined with other features ensures that Horizon will have a much lower microclimate compared to the existing city.
We see Horizon as the 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.