The Philippines is in an active process of nation-building. Our country is a cultural archipelago with 50 dialects, 30 ethnicities, and a history of being open to trade winds in all directions. We are a social tapestry of difference; as such, our greatest triumphs derive from the ability to work together and make the most of our country’s heterogeneous reality.
In fact, the Filipino word for communal work, bayanihan, also illustrates the story of building a country (derived from the word bayan, referring to nation, country, town or community). We are not a place built on singularity, but instead on multiplicity. We are the first democracy in Asia, and our institutions have wrestled with the challenges of creating order out of the knotted history of life in the Philippines.
Being Filipino is by definition a hybrid term. We are a mongrel people with a history of producing more resilient versions of ourselves through fusion. In fact, even our cuisine has become acclaimed across the world for how it mixes global traditions in novel ways, enacting joyous transformations upon known flavors that produce new identities through commingling.
The Supreme Court is an institution that helps bring together individuals through the traditions of discourse, reason, and justice. Though it is made up of many distinct entities, the Supreme Court building must perform like one integrated, seamless environment for the delivery of legal wisdom and judicial services.
We have designed a building that encapsulates the spirit of one place made out of an amalgam of unifying elements. To create this, we studied the functional requirements of the Supreme Court and discovered that the courts work as one institution with six distinct spatial qualities.
As such, we created six clusters and arranged them around a vertical arboretum. This enabled us to reduce the footprint of the building and create more green space, thereby raising our environmental quotient.The new Philippine Supreme Court will be the most advanced green institutional
complex in the country.
Our team of world-class sustainability architects and engineers, responsible for some of the most intelligent and resourceful structures in the world, have devised strategies to reduce the heat load, recycle rain water, increase natural cooling, and power the building through renewal methods.
The different divisions of the Supreme Court are all highly linked together in an architecturally exceptional way, facilitating efficient workflows while making room for a deep connection with the local environment. We have developed a totem of connectivity set amidst nature. In essence, we have created a building within a botanical garden.
The landscapes represent the diverse geographies of the Philippines from the cordilleras to the lush tropical jungles to the palm shaded beaches. Our ambition is that the foundations of a just society can be supported by an architecture that envisions a new way of living on our planet.
This is a building that aspires to connect with the legacy and the tradition of tribal architecture in the Philippines, while employing new technologies to protect our environment. It is an architecture that both responds to the day-to-day service needs of the Courts, and represents the country’s ambitions for a better and more principled future. Source by CAZA, images Courtesy of Suttun.