The Best Architectural Buildings in the Philippines
Looking for a combination of history and culture along with futuristic and modern takes?
Then look no further since here are the best architectural buildings in the Philippines that are rich in arts and culture.
Manila Cathedral, Manila
When it comes to architectural prominence in the Philippines, the Manila Cathedral, otherwise known as the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, will always be mentioned.
Going back to 1851, the original Manila Cathedral, which utilized nipa and bamboo as materials, was the very first cathedral built in the Philippines. However, fires and other natural calamities destroyed the church every time.
Hence, what tourists and visitors see in the present time is the rebuilt version of the church due to evolution of the current architectural influence in the Philippines.
Another architectural building that is brimming with history and culture is Intramuros, a city surrounded by walls situated in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
At the center of Intramuros, the Fort Santiago Fortress is another historical structure filled with beautiful gardens. Most notably, this is also where José Rizal, the country’s national hero, spent his remaining days at the hands of the Spaniards.
The previously mentioned Manila Cathedral and the Casa Manila Museum are also prominent structures inside Intramuros.
Mactan Cebu International Airport, Cebu
Fast forward to the modern era, the Mactan Cebu International Airport is known as the Philippine’s most beautiful airport due to its unique architectural style of arches made of timber and glass panels that go from the floor and up to the ceiling.
This renowned airport also won two prestigious awards and won against competitors in the Completed Buildings-Transport category such as the Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore and the Barangaroo Ferry Wharf in Australia during the World Architecture Festival in 2019.
Calle Crisologo, Vigan
In Luzon, the Calle Crisologo in Vigan is recognized as a World Heritage spot by UNESCO due to its historical and beautiful architectural structures.
Essentially a street that spans 500 meters and more, Calle Crisologo is one of the prime examples of the influence of the Spaniards in the country’s architecture during their colonization in the 18th century.
The rustic mansions along the street are characterized by wooden doors that have an antique feeling and give off a festive and welcoming atmosphere due to its large size and open areas.
Horses drawn from brightly-colored carriages can also be used as transportation along the street.
National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
Another Manila architectural marvel is the National Museum of the Philippines. It is situated and spans across Rizal Park, particularly Padre Burgos Avenue.
This architectural sight is known for its Neo-classical approach in design, and its columns inspired by the Greek Corinthians.
Moreover, the National Museum is also known as a complex since it houses different galleries within its vicinity. Situated in the Old Legislative Building, the most famous gallery within the complex is the National Museum of Fine Arts, formerly known as the National Art Gallery.
Next is the Museum of the Filipino people, which was previously located in the Finance Building; and lastly, the National Museum of Natural History, which can be found in the Old Tourism Building.
Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Davao City
Flying to Mindanao, the Pearl Farm Beach Resort of Davao was a farm that prioritized pearl culturing.
However, once Francisco Mañosa took hold of designing the place to put houses made out of traditional stilts to showcase indigenous architecture, the Pearl Farm Beach Resort is now an architectural wonder situated along a beach coastline.
With this, Mañosa was given a National Artist award for his contribution to Philippine architecture.
The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental
Situated in Bacolod City, The Ruins is an ancestral mansion that is considered to be an architectural wonder since its luxurious and Italianate appearance remained unmoved despite its tragic history.
At the start of the 20th century, a baron named Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, who owned a sugar plantation, built a mansion that consists of ten bedrooms to commemorate his wife who passed away while giving birth to their child.
Moreover, during WWII, the US Army employed Filipino guerrillas to burn the mansion down to prevent it from becoming a headquarters for the Japanese.
Currently, The Ruins still stands tall and beautiful to welcome tourists to its intricate and delicate decorations worthy of admiration.
San Agustin Church, Manila
Going back to Manila, the San Agustin Church is also located in Intramuros, and is also known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Built in the 16th century, this church is a prime example of an early Baroque architectural design.
Its cave-like interiors, a cross plan that resembles symmetry, and the intricately designed ceiling resonate the Spanish colonization and influences of the Chinese towards its style in architecture.
Main Building - University of Santo Tomas, Manila
Between 1920 and 1923, the Main Building of the University of Santo Tomas was designed by Rev. Fr. Roque Ruaño, and was built in 1924 to be an earthquake-resistant structure, following the concept from the Great Kantō earthquake which left Yokohama and Tokyo devastated during the 1st of September in 1923.
More so, this building was also the first structure in the Philippines to have an earthquake-resistant design, which proved its stability since despite being used as a camp by the Japanese during WWII, the building remains unmoved up to this day.
National Arts Center, Los Baños, Laguna
In 1977, the National Arts Center was built. It is situated on the slopes of the northeastern side of Mount Makiling.
Aside from being an architectural marvel, this building is also the home to the Philippine High School for the Arts, which educates students who are artistically inclined, and aligns its curriculum to the country’s laws to continue evolving the arts and culture of the nation.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) also collaborates with this institution to provide policies regarding the implementation of artistic programs in the country.
Sulu Provincial Capitol, Sulu
One of the most recognizable and beautiful provincial capitol buildings in the Philippines can be found in Jolo, Sulu.
The structure highly resonates with Islamic architecture, and its most prominent shapes in the dome resemble the Taj Mahal found in India.
The Mind Museum, Taguig
For a modern take, this futuristic building situated in Taguig is home to the Mind Museum, which is also the first science museum in the country that is interactive for all ages.
The unique design of the exterior resembles the structure of a cell and the process of cellular growth. With this, in 2014, the architectural marvel won an award internationally during the 20th Annual Thea Awards, and was also cited to be a trailblazer in making science more interactive and experiential in the real world.
Zuellig Building, Makati
This sky-rise building situated in Makati is known to house numerous businesses and hotels.
Another modern and futuristic design, the Zuellig Building was built using sensors that dim during daylight, facilities that harvest rainwater during the typhoon season, and a double-glazed curtain wall with low emission.
Because of its efforts in environmental conservation, in 2013, it was qualified for a Platinum certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It was the first building in the country to do so.