The Estate Makati breaks ground
The groundbreaking ceremony of The Estate Makati, a joint project of SMDC and Federal Land, marks the official start of construction of the ultra-luxury residential condominium. The building is the first in the country to be designed by the award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners, of the renowned British architect Norman Foster. VIPs from both companies, including Henry Sy, Jr., Chairman of SMDC, Alfred Ty, Chairman of Federal Land Inc., and William Coscolluela, of W.V. Coscolluela, the local architectural consultant for the project, were on hand for this momentous occasion.
A partnership between two families
All set to rise on a 3,500 square-meter lot on Apartment Ridge, the last available plot of land in this highly exclusive area of the city, The Estate Makati will be the tallest along Ayala Avenue, expected to top off at 270 meters. It is the first joint project of the Sy Family (the clan behind the success of the SM retail empire as well as its other core businesses including BDO, Chinabank, and SMDC, and the Ty Family (whose major holdings and investments include Metrobank, Federal Land, and Toyota Motors Philippines and Lexus Philippines, among others) since the development in the 1980s of Ritz Towers, also on the prestigious Apartment Ridge in Makati. At the time, the two powerful business families jointly invested in the project through separate privately held companies. Now, as the Sy’s SMDC officially partners with the Ty’s Federal Land for the very first time, the highly ambitious, ultra-luxury development The Estate Makati is seen as a fitting tribute to both families’ patriarchs. This project will cement—literally—the legacies of the visionaries Henry Sy and George S.K. Ty.
A prominent sight in the Makati skyline
For a project of this magnitude, both families agreed that only the best would do—for their vision, there would be no room for compromise. And for the challenging task, the firm of Norman Foster, one of the most prolific and innovative architects in the world, was tapped. Upon its completion, Sy Jr believes that The Estate Makati will be a prominent sight in the Makati skyline. It’s a bold, confident statement, but there are plenty of reasons to stand by this claim.
Having a design that is both innovative and capable of standing the test of time is a hallmark of Foster’s architecture philosophy. “From the very beginning our practice was founded on a philosophy of innovation, sustainability, and design. We continue to learn from the past and creatively embrace the challenges of the future, with a firm belief that good design makes a difference,’’ says Foster.
Last October 2018, Foster + Partners was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize 2018—one of the highest accolades in architecture—for its recently completed masterpiece, Bloomberg’s European Headquarters in London. Since the Stirling Prize’s conception in 1996, Foster + Partners have won it thrice, the first in 1998 for the Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire, UK; the second in 2004 for 30 St. Mary Axe, more popular known as the Gherkin, in London; and now for Bloomberg’s HQ. Founded in 1967, British-based Foster + Partners has only made limited forays into Asia. And when it did, most projects were of a commercial nature, with residential projects far and few between. It stands to reason that living in a subtly elegant Foster-designed home is exactly what its target clientele is looking for.
A wholistic and sustainable approach
For this highly anticipated project, Foster + Partners came up with a subtly elegant design, but one that had innovation in mind. Taking a wholistic approach to architecture is the Foster + Partners way. As the firm itself points out, “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we undertake. We audit all projects against global standards, while developing bespoke strategies that drive our environmental agenda. To build sustainably requires us to design holistically, and our unique integrated design approach enables us to develop innovative strategies that have a firm focus on the future of the environment.”
In order to create their design, the architectural firm conducted exhaustive topographical studies, studying the city’s climate and sun patterns, among other research. “The sun in the Philippines is quite strong which is why we designed the windows to be angled a certain way so that it doesn’t spill into the unit but still provides enough light – without compromising the amazing sunset and breathtaking view of the Makati skyline,” explained Luke Fox, Head of Studio and Senior Executive Partner, who is leading the project.
As meticulous as the architects were with the building exterior, inside they were just as exacting. Especially with the innovative building system, which has never been done on this scale in the Philippines. All 188 residential units in the building will be column-free, allowing everything inside to be fully customized to suit one’s needs or whims. It will be the first residential building in the country to be constructed with double-slab technology; for the buyer this will mean the flexibility to do whatever he or she pleases with the layout. If you’re buying from an investment standpoint, this is investment gold, according to one of the project’s prime movers, as this ensures that your unit will not age—it can fully adapt to any interior design style of the future. Another clever feature is the use of angled windows in each of the units, helping provide homeowners with their much-needed privacy, while still maximizing the view of the city skyline. The Estate Makati’s stain-resistant façade was a product of the architectural firm’s years of research and development. These design features, just a sampling of what’s in store, show how The Estate Makati will revolutionize architecture in the country upon its completion, setting the bar for years to come.
Such prestige will come at a price, naturally, but from an investment standpoint, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. The cost of real estate in Makati is rising exponentially, especially in prime areas of the city; when it comes to potential future value, investing in the Estate Makati is not a gamble—it’s the winning hand.
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