The rapid densification processes happening in Manila expose the tension between economic efficiency and environmental consciousness. In March 2019, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) announced a design competition to develop their Diliman property into a high-rise mixed-use development, integrating retail and office spaces. The design contest also specifically required the entries would have to integrate into such development the existing two buildings designed by the National Artist Leandro V. Locsin, in compliance with the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. WTA Design Studio’s winning entry is a multi-dimensional people-oriented and environmentally-friendly business center that integrates energy-efficient systems and innovative design ideas.
The Diliman site, located in Quezon City’s central business district (CBD), will be an accredited economic zone that will also host the offices of PSALM, the National Power Corporation, TRANSCO and other energy-related agencies. Given the accessibility and centrality of the site’s location, the development is set to be a major anchor for the city. The 5.19-hectare property is located at the intersection of Quezon City’s Diliman, Bagong Pag-Asa, West Triangle, South Triangle, and Pinyahan. It is easily accessible through different public transportation along EDSA, Quezon Avenue, and Agham Road making it a strong hub.
‘The East Grid’ is a masterplan development proposal named after its location in the East Triangle. The word ‘grid,’ of course, represents power grids representing the four major power sector companies it will host, as well as Locsin’s grid of columns.
WTA synthesized five main design points in master planning the Diliman site. The first is the East Grid as a gathering point or hub. Second is the dialogue between old and new which WTA hopes to achieve by enhancing the presence of the Locsin building through open courtyards and grid reflections on-grid and mass. A multi-dimensional landscape is central to creating a holistic high-rise development. Engaging and active green spaces throughout the vertical floor space of the development will create a rich and dynamic program. This works in conjunction with the firm’s other design goals—to enhance work, life, and health through biophilic open spaces.
WTA’s design scored high with the judges for its focus on sustainability. The design embodies energy-efficient systems and innovative and sustainable design ideas. The East Grid integrates pedestrian-friendly spaces, interactive installations, bike trails, green promenades, alfresco spaces, and play areas into a development that will ensure a net leasable space of about 400,000 square meters…