An Award-Winning British Firm Is Designing This Exclusive Makati Property
The pace of the city’s development has never been greater, with buildings and skyscrapers rising to shape the country’s skyline. Distinguishing itself is The Estate Makati, a skyscraper in the works and Foster + Partners’ first project in the Philippines.
The firm is known for many of the world’s most popular architectural landmarks such as the Gherkin in London, the Hong Kong International Airport, and the Hearst Tower in New York. Their work has constantly won the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize for their outstanding accomplishments in architecture.
Its founder, Norman Foster, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize and was even granted a peerage as Baron Foster of Thames Bank. He once told BBC, “Since Stonehenge, architects have always been at the cutting edge of technology. And you can’t separate technology from the humanistic and spiritual content of a building. A good architect should have an open mind, energy, an appetite for hard work, a willingness to explore new solutions and push boundaries.”
It is with this same fervor that the firm has dedicated to designing The Estate Makati. “We love to push the envelope. We love to keep innovating,” says Roland Schnizer, Senior Architect of Foster + Partners. “We do not like to repeat ourselves. This residential project here, in a way, builds on the 30 years of residential projects we’ve done. The point for us is the next one has to be the best yet.”
Schnizer discovered a few things unique to Manila, all of which were crucial to the firm’s design for The Estate Makati. “One is that village experience. We’re all used to the traffic, but if you make a turn, you disappear into these villages. You have this beautiful, calming entrance experience before you arrive at your house. The other thing I was personally interested in was the larger family life. [Living with] the extended family is very prevalent here, and the client challenged us to deliver flexible layouts to [cater to this].”
The final design allows homeowners to fully personalize their units, allowing them to change the layout over time. Working closely with W.V. Coscolluela and the building’s structural engineers, Foster + Partners incorporated a column-free design and made use of double-slab construction technology. “There is not a single column in the units,” says Schnizer, “so you wouldn’t have columns that would in the future interfere with or interrupt your flexible layout. The only limitation is your imagination.”
The cruciform design of the building allows the utmost privacy and exclusivity for its residents. Double-glazed windows are also angled by 10 degrees to provide shade, reduce sun exposure, and offer more privacy while still giving the residents scenic views of the city.
The firm also designed a long, rising driveway from the street to a secluded drop-off point. It will be flanked on both sides by tall, arching trees which will provide residents a short but relaxing journey to the lobby. The subtle elegance continues inside the tastefully appointed arrival lounge, atrium lounge, and seating pavilions. Since the development is cruciform in design, and only one unit occupies each petal, every flat is essentially a corner unit. With two lifts exclusively dedicated to each petal, waiting for an elevator will only take a few seconds.
“Of course, we will build a beautiful building. But it’s the quality of experience that sets this building apart. In addition to the architecture, we are also doing the interiors, and in particular, bespoke, one-off elements,” says Schnizer. The building includes two-bedroom units, three-bedroom units, and multi-level penthouse suites, so you can choose the best living space for your lifestyle.
Residents can be assisted by the personalized butler and concierge service, made up of staff who can accommodate requests ranging from catering needs to laundry. Food and parcel deliveries will also be discreetly received by the staff. The second floor will include amenities like a full fitness center and private yoga rooms, while the 25th floor is where the skygarden lounges are located as well as an indoor wine lounge where you can enjoy wine-tasting sessions with friends.
“We really worked hard so you get an unforgettable experience,” says Schnizer, “From the minute you arrive through the gates, the beautiful tree-lined drive up to an amazing viewpoint on Ayala Avenue, every step along the way, it is special, exclusive. The private lifts, the ‘wow factor’ in the units—it is all fantastic.”