As the condominium boom shows no sign of abating, an alarming trend is becoming noticeable: some of the high-rise towers being built are starting to look the same. Perhaps, the real estate company has either consciously chosen to only have one look across their developments or they tap the same architectural group, whether in-house or not. The downside to this practice is that the buildings become boring and interchangeable, pulling no element of surprise. You see one and you see all.
As for the Vista Land & Lifescapes, which is acknowledged as the biggest homebuilder in the country, part of the solution to break this monotony is to collaborate with a variety of architectural firms who have produced beautiful, breathtaking structures in the past.
“We avoid that by working with architects who have different design philosophy. We allow them to express their strengths. This is the reason why we don’t have developments that look exactly the same,” she added.
Some of the “starchitects” that Vista Residences has tapped through the years include Arc. William Coscolluela of WV Cosculluela & Associates for the Mosaic and KL Mosaic Towers, Felino Palafox of Palafox and Associates for Trevi Towers and Arc. Carmelo Casas of Casas + Architects for The Gallery. All three buildings are located within or near the Makati Central Business District.
For the Mosaic and KL Mosaic Towers, Coscolluela designed the structures in a hexagonal form to give them a classic and contemporary look. Working with the tenets of green architecture, Palafox oriented the structures of Trevi Towers in such a way that they can harness the full potential of the wind to encourage natural ventilation. Casas, on the other hand, envisioned The Gallery as a collection of clean, modern lines.
In its other developments such as The Currency (Ortigas CBD), Wil Tower and Symphony Towers (Quezon City), Vista Residences tapped the US-based, international architectural firm RTKL whose local partner is Arch Haus Asia Consultants. They may have been designed by the same group by their looks can not be more different. The Currency is a single-tower expressed as two wings, the Wil Tower projects its mixed-use identity with its podium of retail spaces, while Symphony Towers shimmers like emerald, mirroring the fluidity and hue of the fountains in the courtyard shared by its two buildings.
Aside from high-rise residences, Vista Land has also created sumptuous communities composed of mid-rise condominiums amid wide, open spaces. These include the six-tower development Brescia Residences in Fairview, Quezon City which evokes the style of an Italian villa; Pine Crest in New Manila, whose three towers sit on 8,000 square meters, large areas of which are strewn with pine trees; and The Presidio in Sucat, Parañaque whose 16 mid-rise condo buildings, located in 6.8-hectare development, are designed to take in a view of Laguna de Bay, an environmentally protected site.
Backed by more than 30 years of experience of its parent company Vista Land, Vista Residences makes sure that all the developments follow building and environmental codes to the letter, respect the historical attributes of the site and take consideration of the surrounding communities. “We can proudly claim that we don’t cut corners in our developments,” Kalaw, “We only work with the trusted names in the construction industry. We always emphasize that speed should never be a reason to compromise the safety and the integrity of a building.”
An example that Vista Residences doesn’t just build indiscriminately is 515 Shaw, a two-tower heritage-oriented project located in the corner of Laurel Street and Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. The design and construction team took every step to assure that the home of the late President Jose P. Laurel would be safely and beautifully integrated in the building’s overall structure.
Another step the company is taking in its construction practice is toward green architecture. As mentioned, Vista Residences has turned Trevi Towers as a generator of wind for natural ventilation. Its project at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Avant at the Fort, has been designed to embody green architecture through and through.
Benefiting from the shade of nearby structures, Avant at The Fort allows ambient light, but not heat, to filter through the star-rated glass, minimizing the use of energy. Its design, just like Trevi Towers, also allows for cross ventilation to pervade through hallways and units. Its ground level is framed by an espalier that allows for the integration plant life while shaded swimming pool and private massage coves are surrounded by greenery.
“Starting from the blueprint, we make sure that a building has its unique architectural identity that will make stand out from the rest,” says Kalaw. “What remains consistent is the way we devote every necessary solution and step to make it well-built. Yes, our buildings are stylish but its style rests upon a safe, solid foundation.”