Building design

by Steve Van Derodar

AMANI by Archetonic, Puebla, Mexico | Photo courtesy of Architizer via Steve Derodar

I am one to say that beauty is everything. I am referring to building design, as we usually tend to favor what is aesthetically extraordinary. Buildings are most attractive with their make-up and design. You would probably think that building design is attributed to many factors – which is true. Often, buildings depend on the zoning, climate, demography, and whatnot.

While we often see residential buildings here and there, they undergo a tedious process, from wind tests to the type of exterior materials selection. Yet, we know that our fast-changing world embraces modernism as a way of living.

Countless housing projects are built around the world every year, across a wide range of scales, from small lofts and tiny homes to multi-unit residential towers. According to, “The best homes are designed for everyday life. Reinterpreting local building conditions and vernacular forms, new residences reflect contemporary values as they are built for modern living.”

Haven’t you noticed that today’s buildings are an open alternative for those who are willing and usually come with a level of affordability, as the building design suggests? Building design refers to the broadly based architectural, engineering, and technical applications to design buildings. Developers spend a lot of time planning to deliver its promise of comfort and structural forwardness. Larger, more complex building projects require the services of many professionals trained in specialist disciplines, usually coordinated by an architect.

In the Philippines, the growing need for housing also has catered to the demography attracted to good building designs. Believe it or not, building sophistication is synonymous with luxury but not necessarily inaccessible to those who seek comforts, like lifestyle-seeking entrepreneurs, young professionals, and urbanites.

Not too long ago, I was a witness to the construction of some of the most exciting buildings in Metro Manila. The introduction of “Bahay na Bato” in an upscale development in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the spires in buildings coveting the tallest buildings mark in Makati’s Central Business District (CBD), the tropical-inspired and sophisticated renderings of the developments in Mall of Asia and Metropolitan Bay Area. From floor-to-ceiling glass towers, and high-rise developments capturing panoramic views to architectural marvels by renowned architects, all these are about great building designs.

The Philippines has been considered a country with affordable housing, even modern buildings. This means that comparatively, people who are into these developments can vastly enjoy these developments compared to Western standards. While services are top-rate, they can still be within pricepoint advantage. The country of 7,100 islands has numerous developments to choose from, although top residential buildings with remarkable designs are highly concentrated in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. People who relocate from abroad may find modern amenities from our developments at par with the U.S. or European luxury.

You may expect some of these buildings to be LEED certified because of their green architecture, sustainable construction, and resource efficiency. Some of our buildings are a testament to expressive identity translated into building developments. Another example is Pacific Plaza Towers, a high-end condominium project in BGC that stands out because of its twin tower curvilinear design created by Arquitectonica and the Recio + Casas Architects. It is one of the most eye-catching structures to date in BGC that’s hard to miss. Some of the taller buildings now are inspired by the live-work environments with shared workshops and social spaces. And as if those are not enough, what about those gold-conceptualized residential developments and many more?

If price is no objection, I am sure everyone would go for state of the art buildings. The building design in developments may be one critical aspect of modern comfort for the discerning next generation.


(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation, and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist for markets in Asia, Europe, and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land, and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a critical focus on Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit Email at

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