Category Archives: architecture & design

A Year in Review: Trends of 2011

Excerpted REPOST from

(Image source:

In January of each year, CTBUH publishes a review of tall building construction and statistics from the previous year. The annual story is becoming a familiar one: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and now 2011 have each sequentially broke the record for the most 200 meter or higher buildings completed in a given year. Once again, more 200 m+ buildings were completed in 2011 than in any year previous, with a total of 88 projects opening their doors (for an overview of all 200 m+ buildings, see the “Tall Buildings in Numbers” study). Shenzhen’s Kingkey 100, at 442 meters, tops the 2011 list.

Looking to the future, it is now foreseeable – indeed likely – that the recent trend of an annual increase in building completions will continue for the next several years, perhaps even through the end of the decade. This represents a change in recent predictions. It had been expected that skyscraper completions would drop off very sharply after 2011, as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis and the large number of projects put on hold. Now however, due in large part to the continuing high activity of skyscraper design and construction in China, as well as the development of several relatively new markets, this global dip is no longer expected. The effect this will have on the skylines of the world will be tremendous (see “The Tallest 20 in 2020” article for more on the future of the skyscraper).

Continuing Shifts
The buildings completed in 2011 have effected a significant change in the world’s tallest 100 buildings, with 17 new buildings added to the list. This change continues the trends of recent years (see Figures 2–5).  Perhaps most significantly, for the first time in history the number of office buildings in the tallest 100 has diminished to the 50% mark, as mixed-use buildings continue to increase, jumping from 23 to 31. As recently as the year 2000, 85% of the world’s tallest were office buildings – meaning that a 35% change has occurred in just over a decade. In terms of location, Asia, now with 46 of the 100, continues to edge toward containing half of the world’s tallest buildings. The Middle East region saw an increase of three, while Europe diminished to only one building in the tallest 100: Capital City Moscow Tower.


Full article by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat can be found here.


Paris, La Ville-Lumière (3/3)

Je t’adore big guns and Chanel…

We gave up trying to go up to the Eiffel Tower.  The lines were too long.

(Photocredit: Dad)

And we were also unfortunate enough to Versailles on a holiday.  It was Ascension Thursday.  Every nation and the French decided to spend the day there.

(Photocredit: Dad)

(Photocredit: Dad)

For all its grandiosity and pretentious pomp, the architect left out one essential room in Versailles–BATHROOMS.  According to our tour guide, Versailles’ inhabitants just came and relieved their bladders wherever they pleased.  It slightly tarnished my first impressions of the Palace.  It is a work of art, really.  One just has to overlook its unhygenic provisions.  Hmmm….

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Paris, La Ville-Lumière (2/3)

Sunday in Paris. Still Asian and still lost…

This is how the city looks from Notre Dame’s towers.  I believe this is the city where I have climbed more than 4 high points just to see top views in all angles.

We were nearly late for the Sunday service because we got lost.  Some of the streets have their signs hung on the corners in tiny signs.  In addition, there was the language barrier.  We couldn’t ask anyone to give us detailed directions to the cathedral.  Fortunately, we made it in time and got relatively good seats.

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Paris, La Ville-Lumière (1/3)

Asian lost in Paris…

It would be redundant, borderline ridiculous to say that Paris is a beautiful city.  It’d take around a five minute walk from our hotel to see this at 10:30 PM, just a little after sunset.  After nearly a week’s stay in London, I still got disoriented because of the time difference.  In my “world” the sun sets at 6:00 PM.  Anyway…

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Blimey, it’s London! (3/3)

More museums and the obligatory food post…

This is the entrance of the Natural History Museum.  We got free entrance, as with most of the museums, thanks to our London Pass.  The exhibits here were targeted for a younger audience.  I got bored actually because it was elementary biology.  I did learn a thing or two on modern museum interiors.

The museum was first opened to the public in 1881.  But the collections first started when Sir Hans Sloane (physician and collector of natural curiosities) donated his collection in 1753.  (Source: Natural History Museum UK)

I forgot to mention that my favorite parts of the collection were the dinosaur and whale skeleton exhibit.

These two bridges here connect the exhibits, giving the interior layout a maze-like feel.

This is “the Cocoon” in the Darwin Centre designed by  C F Møller Architects.  I wasn’t able to go inside though, so check out more pictures of it here, Darwin Centre Architectural Highlights.  We had another stop to visit.

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Blimey, it’s London! (2/3)

More sights from the City Bus Tour – St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, President Obama…

St. Paul’s Cathedral, the largest Anglican Church equivalent to the St. Peter’s Basilica of the Roman Catholics.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures here.  I found out as the trip progressed that photographing was generally forbidden inside places of worship.

This is the fifth building of the cathedral which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1669 and officially completed in 1711.  The first three cathedrals existed before the year 1000 A.D. and were burned down.  The fourth cathedral was constructed after the fire in 1087 that destroyed the third cathedral.  The ceiling and roof were made of wood which led to its eventual decay.  The construction of the fifth version experienced a lot of interruptions during the Civil War.

The style is a mix between Gothic and Baroque styles.  The Baroque is evident in the dome (and inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica) and the arched ceilings.  The Gothic is present in the spires as seen in the photo above.  The design received mixed reactions from the public.  If I remember my Art Studies correctly, the architecture in mainland Europe developed closely alongside each other.  Proximity made it easier for architects and craftsmen to travel around mainland Europe–France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Flanders–and see which architectural styles were in fashion.  Britain, located away from the mainland, caught on the trends at a later time and was (generally) considered not part of the cool group.

A view of the St. Paul Memorial from the Golden Gallery, the topmost area on the dome that is accessible to the public.

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On Daniel Libeskind

One of the most visited museums in Berlin city (



by Regina Vergara

with minor additions by Prof. Purissima Benitez-Johannot

Deconstructivism in art and architecture emerged as an offshoot of French philosopher, Jacques Derrida’s ideas.  Derrida proposed this new strategy as a way of reading philosophical or literary texts in order to fully understand its message.  To deconstruct a work, the following questions must be asked: “What do the authors do to be able to postulate unassailable truths and absolute concepts in their works?  What do they do to convincingly justify and assert the basic principles or foundations on which their theories are based?  And failing this: what lengths will they go, what subterfuges and simplifications are they prepared to employ, in order to arrive at philosophy that fully accords with their view of reality?” (Müller in Noever 10).

Although architecture is capable of expressing the aesthetic concept of the architect, it is still subject to scientific and technical rationality.  As a product of man that has—since time immemorial– “sheltered” or “provided a cover/venue” for his activities, it simply cannot be separated from its functional purpose.  The fundamental laws of physics and the time period’s technology also set the boundaries of architecture’s design development.  The use of Classical design principles was never completely detached from architecture till the onset of Modernism and Post-Modernism.  During the first three decades of the 20th century architecture, alongside art, was adapted to the process of social rationalization because architects desired that it express the rational advance of mankind.  Deconstructivism thus aims to reduce all forms of architecture to pure geometric forms (Müller in Noever 7-12).

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LED Lights in Milan

This video, “Watch your day in 2020 [Future Technology]”, has been circulating in my Twitter and Facebook newsfeed last week.  I cannot imagine more than half of my furniture covered with touchscreen consoles.  It might not work for me as I like screen surfaces shiny and fingerprint-free.  Anyway…

What seems to be a more realistic–not to mention, affordable–technological development is the use of more LED lights.

These are LED lights that are part of an installation by Chiara Lampugnani for the Milan International Light Exhibition Design (LED) Festival that is held every winter.

The Longest Day(s)/Thesis Account

It’s been nearly two weeks since my defense last Feb. 15.  (Yes, this is the long overdue post.)  And during the weeks leading to Doomsday, it truly felt like the agony would just keep on going, and going, and going.

Concept Board

In a gist, my thesis was to design a technical vocational school for construction workers.  The construction trades I was going to include in my main structure were carpentry, masonry, steel welding, steel scaffolding erection, tile setting, HVAC, electrical works, and painting.  The site was located in the South Science and Technology Park in U.P. Diliman.  In reality, the site is just a 7 hectare empty field.  My thesis professor added a hypothetical road network.  From there, the students chose their plots of land for their designs.

During the semester, I was more or less thrilled to have gotten a school for construction workers as a topic.  Well, it was my second-choice topic but I already had an inkling that this was what I wanted to work on since third year.  The topic was partially inspired by my dad, who would constantly comment on various parts of the house that were poorly executed.  I thought, “Hey! Why not propose a design for a construction school?”  I’ve encountered a lot of workers who’ve learned their trade as an informal apprentice.

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Sneak Preview

Better than most of what I’ve done in the past. But I still hate it. Same as my chef friend (who worked for a time in Aubergine, a fine dining restaurant in Fort Bonifacio), who can’t stand the taste of her cooking.  Or like Eva Green, who can’t stand watching herself strip onscreen.