Landscape architect and urban planner Paulo Alcazaren of PGAA Creative Design questioned the term event organisers used to describe the pavilions at the 2020 edition of Anthology Festival at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. In architecture literature, follies are described as whimsical, decorative and sometimes temporary, as opposed to the intentional, purposeful and permanent nature of other architecture. In an open forum, however, Alcazaren backtracked, ‘It’s not that follies don’t have meanings, they do. They often get a message across.’ Asked to design and build their own follies around the venue, a centuries-old fortress, Alcazaren’s design firm and six others came up with various commentaries.
With their project, WTA Architecture and Design Studio argued that architecture is more than the sum of its materials. Titled No Virgin, the studio’s pavilion was made of non-virgin materials — timber frames came from old wooden electric posts and the floors from shipping pallets, while recycled plastic sheets made up the walls. Recycled materials likewise made up Visionarch’s Cloudscape. Balls constructed from recycled plastic cups hung over an undulating base made of the same material. The inclusion of a slide and swing meant visitors could engage with the structure up close, while at night the constellation of balls was illuminated and visitors could control the lights via an app. In contrast, Jagnus Design Studio’s We All Shine was meant to be admired from a distance. It was an ironic twist that the aluminium cube, perched on stilts in the middle of the moat, was intended to communicate diversity, inclusivity and the designers’ message that ‘architecture thrives in collaboration, not isolation.’