Bridge Design over Manila

Journey by the Bay

Metro Manila, Philippines
Project Team:

Matthieu Begoghina

“Journey by the Bay” was designed by WTA Architecture and Design Studio to propose a new approach of the development of the capital with the goal to start a discussion about the future of Manila and Luzon. Manila is known for different reasons, but the ones that majority shares are negative. Vast areas of informal settlements, an inefficient public transportation system, vulnerability to natural disasters and the legendary traffic congestion are part of the problems the Government tackled but wasn’t able to solve. Considering that the projected population of Metro Manila is expected to almost double by 2050 and that the historical urban growth of Metro Manila is averaging 800% every 50 years, the architects of WTA Architecture and Design Studio think that constraining the development of the city along the North and South inhibits the future development of the capital.

Based on the Dream Plan and on the study of other cities around the world like San Francisco, Journey by the Bay envisions the future of the capital around Manila Bay. This proposal develops a backbone of transportation that would be composed of a highway and a High Speed Train. This would closely connect the different cities around the Bay (Manila, the new Airport, Naic, Corregidor, Balanga, Hermosa and Malolos) with the loop taking only one hour. By creating a direct link between Bataan and Cavite, the highway would be the perfect opportunity to create a bypass connecting North and South while avoiding Manila.

The Backbone would accelerate the development of satellites cities and, at the same time, emphasize the polycentric development encouraged by JICA. These cities would be able to host some functions of Manila, attracting BPOs, universities and even government offices. With its functions scattered in the nearby cities, Manila will be able to regenerate itself without compromising its development. Journey by the Bay also develops the design of the 22-km-long bridge between Bataan and Cavite, needed to close the loop around the Bay. This bridge would be the longest in the Philippines with a section of 17km between Cavite and Corregidor, and a 4km section between Corregidor and Bataan. The bridge would disappear when reaching Corregidor, becoming a tunnel and leaving the surface of the historical island untouched, allowing the creation of a stopover from the High Speed Train for easy access of the public.

The design of the bridge is inspired by the sea, the surrounding mountains and the skyline of Manila the bridge is facing. Each span of the bridge was designed based on the perception of boats that used to link Manila and the rest of the world, transforming the bridge into a fleet of Galleons guarding the Bay. A tower, a revisited version of a lighthouse accessible by the public, adds a vertical element to the bridge while emphasizing the historical relationship of the Filipinos to the sea and symbolizing guidance for the years to come.