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11:01 PM May 24th, 2013

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By: Tessa Prieto-Valdes, May 24th, 2013 11:01 PM

FAÇADE

When I was first asked to write a column for Property, I vowed never to use the words, “location, location, location.” There are times when clichés creep into my columns, but I will always strive to keep it from getting stale and just being a press release.

With that preamble, I now wade into the hot property discussion of the moment, also known as SM Aura Premier. Whichever side of the fence one may sit on, there is no denying the fact that the mall is the most beautiful one that SM has ever created, whether in the Philippines or anywhere else.

We have to commend SM for not letting their mall designs become stale. They could have inserted another shoebox into Taguig, but no, SM Aura pushes the design envelope further than SM has ever gone before.

THE SM Store

Great addition to Taguig

In that sense, SM Aura is a great addition to the city of Taguig, the fastest flourishing “micro-city” in the country today. The migration of prestigious multinational and local corporations to Taguig is undeniable. In some sense, this is the continuation of the phenomenon in the ’60s and ’70s, when businesses moved from Binondo to Makati.

FOOD on Four is a new take on the Food Court concept.

As the hot property market of the decade, Taguig is seeing unabated growth in high-end residential buildings, embassies and consulates, international and innovative schools, technologically advanced medical centers and other attractions. Added to that mix is now SM Aura.

Located at 26th Street corner McKinley Parkway at the Fort, SM Aura Premier is envisioned as a new landmark in the bustling community. The complex is a 25-hectare melding of mall and office tower, designed by well-known architect Willy Coscolluela, working hand-in-hand with Miami-based Arquitectonica. Sydney-based EDGE Design contributed to the mall interiors.

THE CINEMA

I had the good fortune to attend the launch of the mall, and it is magnetic. Among the global brands opening their first stores in the country are Suiteblanco, Stefanel, BB Dakota, J Lindberg and Farah Vintage in the fashion side of retail, and Paul Boulagerie, NBA Café and Todd English for the dining side. Likewise, SM Aura showcases the next generation of SM Stores and Supermarket, as well as SM stalwarts Kultura, Watsons, Our Home, Toy Kingdom and the latest collections of Forever 21 and Uniqlo.

And it is not just about retail. Taguig now gets an Imax Theater, two digital cinemas and two director’s club cinemas, which add excellent recreation opportunities to the booming residential condominiums in Taguig.

SKYPARK

Green architecture

SM Aura Premier has also not scrimped on green architecture and sustainability. The structure’s carbon footprint is minimized by a massive green roof, designed to reduce heat; and there are pollution and waste management systems and water treatment facilities, all built-in behind the scenes.

SM AURA Premier mall atrium with the skylight

Among the areas of SM Aura to walk around in is The Sky Park, an al fresco dining area amid a landscaped garden and water features. The mall also has an events place called Samsung Hall, set within a lush garden and featuring a unique dome. Like all SM malls, there is a chapel, which is dedicated to San Pedro Calungsod. Within the complex is SMX Aura, for exhibits and corporate meetings. The Office Tower will certainly meet the needs of its international clientele, as well as the growing needs of the country’s BPO industry.

With all these amenities, is it any wonder why it seems that all roads lead to SM Aura?

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or visit www.tessaprietovaldes.com.

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