Capitol urged: Rethink design of proposed 20-storey building

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto June 05,2018 - 10:53 PM

THE National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has asked the Cebu Provincial Government to forgo the construction of the proposed 20-storey building inside the Capitol compound.

In a letter addressed to the Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino dated March 2, NHCP Chairman Rene Escalante said the P1.5 billion proposed high rise building is “too high” and may deform the look of the capitol building, which was declared as the National Historical Landmark in 2008.

“Based on the plans that you submitted, the new high rise building is too high that it will distort the balance and symmetry of the old capitol building,” Escalante’s letter read.

Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, provides for the protection and conservation of national cultural heritage.

“We recommend that the new development must be well arranged and symmetric on both sides of the old capitol building, thus, there is a balanced placement of buildings within the capitol complex,” he said.

“We enjoin you not to undertake any work or changes in the area until we approve your development plan,” he added.
Architect Melva Java, heritage consultant of the office of Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said, “We are on the process of discussing how the new building would adapt to the existing conservation concept.”

She said Governor Hilario Davide III was open to the suggestion of preserving the Capitol as a heritage site.

“I am trying to share with them some principles we should be aware of when you are building something next to a heritage building,” she said.

Java also admitted that the NHCP’s recommendation to achieve a balanced placement of the building is quite challenging.

“It is a rather challenging thing for an architect to achieve balance and symmetry but at the same time not be too classical about it, but more creative,” she said.

The Provincial Government and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the P1.5 billion loan to fund the reconstruction of the Bureau of Agriculture – Extension (Baex) Building.

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TAGS: Capitol, design, proposed, urged

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