SILONG : Manila Arts + Culture Center

MADE Competition
1800 sq. m.

The Manila Arts + Culture Center presents a thrilling yet complex challenge: to design a one stop shop civic center that will double as a museum showcasing our home-grown artists in a relatively small allotted space. Architecturally, it will blend with the environment set by Veritown and Bonifacio Global City thus will stand out as a premiere civic center which is very scant in our country. Symbolically, it will represent how diverse, cheerful and artistic Filpino culture is.



“Silong” Manila Arts + Culture Center is inspired by the traditional nipa hut. Silong is a part of a traditional nipa hut. This section is often used as storage or as a multi-purpose area, from housing your beloved chicken to storing dried food. It also means shadow. The team translates this idea to form the Culture Center. The Center serves as a multi-purpose venue/”storage” for learning, arts and culture appreciation and recreation.

“Silong” is also inspired by Sawali, a widely used wall material commonly found in a traditional nipa hut. The woven characteristic of sawali represents what Filipinos are known for, being closely knit people. Filipinos are fond of gatherings and doing things together. “Silong” aims to bring Filipino families together through culture and art appreciation.




The building envelope serves as a “silong” or shade to the harsh environment it is exposed to. The building has two forms juxtaposed to each other. The curved form is moulded by the orientation of the site. The shape captures the cool breeze of northeast monsoon while redirecting the harsh winds of southwest monsoon to the hotspots of the building. The “cube” was introduced to minimize the total cost of construction through modular design. The open space at the center was wrapped by the curved form and the cube to maximize the view, natural light and natural air flow.

The building envelope was all glass with strips designed to mimic a woven sawali, giving an interesting play of light and shadows throughout the day. Triangular forms are also present. This represents the festive Filipino culture.


One thing separates Filipinos from the rest of the world. It is the colourful and lively culture that makes us distinctly Filipino. Every single day there is a town that celebrates its fiesta. Throughout daytime, colors from the sun while play lights and shadows through the building. When this play of lights from the sun vanishes slowly at the end of the day, dancing colors will dominate the façade. From sequenced dancing fountains to the automated multi- sequenced lights that surround the entire cube, the whole building is alive and cheerful throughout its glory.



The building is oriented to allow natural lighting to lessen energy consumption. The spaces are carefully planned to allow natural light to penetrate the interiors. All glass panels and windows will be double glazed low-e insulated glass. All glass panels of the cube are operable to allow natural ventilation whenever active cooling is not available.

Public areas are designed to have efficient ventilation and shading to allow the public to enjoy the spaces any time of the day.


Rain funnels on the curved roof harvest rainwater for re-use in irrigation, additional water supply for the water feature and for other non-potable uses. Grey water will also be collected and treated for re-use.

The water feature will utilize the rainwater collected. The water drained from the feature will be re-used and recirculated using intelligent variable speed pumps that will save energy cost over its long life.






The roof of the curved form is of aluminium panels with photocatalytic coating of titanium dioxide. This neutralizes the pollution coming from the streets that surround the building especially the main road where the roof is oriented. It is also self-cleaning and prevents the growth of bacteria.

The multi-level roof of the cube consist gardens that will reduce heat island effect. It will minimize impacts on micro-climates and human and wildlife habitats.