SM inaugurates huge complex at Global City

By: Doris C. Dumlao, May 16th, 2013 02:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Tycoon Henry’s Sy’s SM Prime Holdings has debuted in Bonifacio Global City with the launch of SM Aura, a state-of-the-art civic center with office and retail space that was built as a partnership with the City of Taguig.

SM Aura, which has a gross floor area of 234,892 square meters, is an integrated development that incorporates office towers, a chapel, a convention center, and a mini-coliseum, supported by a retail podium with an upscale look and feel.

“We are glad to be given this opportunity to work with the city of Taguig in building a state-of-the-art civic center which will redefine the city’s landscape. We support Taguig’s bid to be a world-class city as SM Aura is an innovative concept with its fashion, dining, entertainment, business and lifestyle selections and ground-breaking architecture and first-rate design that will appeal to other cities that want to showcase their best for the world to see,” SM Prime president Hans Sy said in a press statement on Thursday, during the blessing of the new structure.

With this new complex, the SM group said it aimed to transform Taguig’s town center into a “landmark and prestigious address, showcasing the best in building design and environmental sustainability, with superior engineering, cutting-edge technology and modern facilities for conventions, exhibits and other community events.”

SM Aura also aims to be one of the first civic centers in the country to be certified Gold under the US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, an internationally recognized green building program established in 135 countries.

Designed by the Miami-based architectural firm Arquitectonica, the design of this building forms three curvilinear ribbons evocative of a tree extending its roots. Each ribbon is subdivided to form large staggered windows at the northern end. At the southern end, the three ribbons turn vertically to form the office towers, with each ribbon being slightly angled and finishing at different levels.

A dome-shaped, state-of-the-art, 1,000-seat event hall to be named “Samsung Hall” will serve as a  venue for concerts, stage performances, plays, and product launches. A modern arched structure forms the roof of The Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, which can seat 250 people.

For anchor tenants, the civic center has SM Department Store and SM Supermarket, as well as the Trade Hall, Foodcourt, two regular Cinemas, two Director’s Clubs and an IMAX Theater. It will also house a convention center that has three main function rooms and eight meeting rooms.

NBA Café is also making its first entry into the Philippines in this structure. SM Aura will also have Trattoria Chef Chris of the famed My Kitchen By Chef Chris at Paco Park, as well as well-known restaurant brands like Lugang Café and Yabu.

In cooperation with Manila Hotel, SM Aura also plans to bring in the Champagne Room at the terrace of SM Aura’s Sky Park, a favorite venue for elegant gatherings and celebrations.

Aside from the NBA Café, Boulangerie Paul, and Todd English Food Hall will be making their debut at SM Aura. To enhance the shopping experience, SM Aura will also provide a host of global brands opening in the Philippines for the first time such as Suiteblanco, Stefanel, Minelli, TM Lewin, J. Lindberg, B.B. Dakota and River Island for fashion.

“SM Prime, through SM Aura, has a remarkable opportunity to lead the shift to sustainability in buildings. SM Aura has set a higher standard with high performance technologies that use less energy, consume less water, and leave a smaller footprint on the city’s resources,” Sy said.

Pollution and waste are reduced from construction activities by controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust generation, the company said. A large green roof is seen to reduce the structure’s heat island effect, as well as provide occupants with landscaped recreational areas consisting of various plant species. All waste water will be treated on site and can be reused for non-potable purposes. A third of the construction materials budget is allocated for building products that are either locally sourced or have high recycled content.

SM Prime also announced that the building would maintain “superior indoor environmental quality through enhanced ventilation and the use of low emitting materials.” Use of energy and water use is seen being reduced by as much as 19 percent and 30 percent respectively compared with conventional buildings through a “high performance building enclosure, and efficient equipment and fixtures.”

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