Tycoon Henry Sy-led 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 public-private partnership with the city of Taguig.
SM Aura, which spans a total gross floor area (GFA) of 234,892 square meters (sqm), is an integrated development that incorporates office towers, a chapel, a convention center and 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,” SM Prime president Hans Sy said in a statement.
American actress Sarah Jessica Parker, a fashion icon, graced yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremonies for SM Aura, the 47th retail complex of the SM group in the Philippines.
With the 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 Miami-based architectural firm Arquitectonica, the design of the building forms three curvilinear ribbons reminiscent 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 1,000-seat event hall, which will be named “Samsung Hall,” will serve as a venue for concerts, stage performances, theatre plays and product launches. A modern arched structure forms the roof of The Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod, which can seat 250 people.
As its 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.