Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 National Architectural Thesis Competition - Entry No.12

The phenomenon of expressing cultural identity in architecture is apparent in the different and many parts of the world. It is however a fact that the beginning of the 21st century is marked by the increasing globalization and affirmation of a singular identity that is in constant conflict with the traditional local identities.Such cultural phenomena is very much apparent in the Philippine context, specifically in the architecture of identifying definitive gateway airport terminals. Airport gateway terminals, should as part of its primary functions, act as concrete cultural identifier of the country/city it serves.
This thesis aims to define and investigate how cultural identity is being expressed in the contemporary globalized architecture of the airport terminals in the Philippines, using the proposed New Clark International Airport Terminal 1 as the benchmark of design. The whole experience of travelling from ground up to the air is an exemplary of cultural identification only to be felt within the passageways of an airport terminal. Indeed, people travel to experience culture.

Architectural Theory of Contrast: Activated Architecture x Sedentary Architecture
“The Philippine Fiesta”
            The overall concept of the Philippines having a multifaceted, 7107 cultures is applied through one of the country’s most distinct and unique cultural aspect that visitors from all over the world flock to witness. The incredible energy brought about by the Philippine Colorful Fiesta. The applied polychromatic smart louvers attached at the grand departure lobby’s canopy simulates the country’s festive, warm and colorful culture of banderitas and paradas: reducing any sadness brought about by the departure of our loved ones.
“Philippine Geological Formation Morphology”
            Blending in with the natural landscape that the Philippines is known for: The conceptual form evolution of the terminal’s exterior morphology simulates the undulating curvature expressed by the Philippines’ numerous mountain range landscapes known all over the world. Expressed into a simplified, yet elegant curved form design, the terminal aims to have as minimal visual environmental impact as possible in order to preserve the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.

As the project is set to be affecting an international level of affairs and interrelationships, the main goals of the project need not only be local and national in its own sense, but be more aware of its globally competitive settings. Furthermore, the proposed project of a new international airport terminal is backed up by its characteristic of focusing on the investigation of cultural representation in architectural form and function as its primary formwork basis of architectural self – identification leading into the planning and design of an airport terminal building.As such, the researcher has formulated the following project objectives that will guide the overall project’s main goals and purposive course:
1.    To reinvigorate and revolutionize the frayed image of the Philippine airport system into an improved, efficient and modernized aviation destination, securing the country a significant spot in the global environment of competitive commercial aviation.
2.    To develop a new airport terminal that will primarily serve part of the Greater Capital Region and Northern Luzon, performing its role as the beacon of better linkages and accessible connections with the region’s immediate local and global proximities.
3.    To sustain the country’s ever-growing airport capacity demands in pursuance of decongesting the current and projected saturation problems of the existing airport serving the Greater Capital Region in a long-term projection.
4.    To provide a terminal building that caters to the unique Filipino cultural traditions of ‘Balikbayans’ and ‘Despedidas’.
5.    To define the new airport terminal as the symbolic and representational gateway to the rich and colorful culture of the Philippines.
As the project is to be developed as a competitive commercial aviation and logistics hub, the New Clark International Airport Terminal will be the Philippines’ premiere gateway to the world and will act as the main aviation hub for all international airlines and destinations currently supported by the country.

After space and structure, materiality is the essence of architecture. Surfaces play a large role in articulating materiality, with equal contributions of light, color and texture giving buildings their unique character. Louis Kahn poetically described these intertwined relationships: "All material in nature, the mountains and the streams and the air and we, are made of Light which has been spent, and this crumpled mass called material casts a shadow, and the shadow belongs to Light.”
Applied as architecture, that material is essential to the result. "Colors and textures cannot be seen independently of design intent. Once the objectives for a building project are established, colors and textures become an integral means of achieving design ends."
Polychromatic is a term used  to describe light that exhibits more than one color, which also means that it contains radiation of more than one wavelength, or simply put, having several colors.
            These Photochromic SPD-Smart Glass panels are applied mainly into the skylight and roof canopies of the major spaces within the airport terminal not only to cool the large semi-open space by reducing heat and glare, but to give a simulation of the conceptual idea of having a conducive and colourful ‘festive’ atmosphere for arriving and departing Filipinos and foreigners.

            The terminal design aims to blend itself with the existing Philippine natural landscape famous around the world as part of its airport marketing initiatives. With much consideration to the Philippines as a tropical country, the airport terminal seeks to lessen active energy usage by utilizing a pavilion-type design in its primary spatial aspects to promote passive cooling and maximum natural ventilation. As mentioned herewith, the terminal’s main pavilion is where the specific Filipino activity of Balikabayan greeting and Despedida well-wishing occurs, as such, the focus and primary design aspects, both culturally, visually, spatially and tropically are applied in such area.


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