Words The Kanto Team
Images Royal Pineda+ Architecture•Design
The Pasig City LGU reveals plans for a new city hall ‘campus,’ a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) with a design penned by consultant Royal Pineda+ Architecture • Design on their 450th founding anniversary.
“…Maaring ito po ang magiging pinakamalaking proyekto sa kasaysayan ng Lungsod ng Pasig. Kaya kailangan ko po ng inyong tulong, kailangan ko po ng inyong suporta. (“The ten-year masterplan we are about to embark on “may well be the biggest project to ever have been undertaken in the history of Pasig City. So, I need your help. I need your support.”) Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto proclaimed yesterday, July 2, 2023, during the city’s 450th founding anniversary celebration, an announcement that was warmly received by the crowd.
The ambitious plan was in response to the alarming findings the LGU received concerning the city hall’s structural integrity. Upon inspecting the four buildings that compose the current city hall, engineers found that 62 columns and 451 beams and girders were structurally inadequate, and the seismic gaps between the buildings were inadequate such that they would likely hit each other during an earthquake. Worse, the consultants also found that the foundations, inadequate as they already are, are on ground that is likely to liquefy and settle unevenly in the event of a strong earthquake.
“Akala po natin isang malaking building ang ating City Hall. Pero ang katunayan po, apat na building po siya. Eto po yung original, yung gray. Dinagdagan sa harap yung blue, yung side nayan, pinatungan ng orange. Wala pong sariling foundation yan. Sa gilid lang po yung foundation, yung pundasyon ng ating building. Makikita po natin, hindi po naka—yung gitna, hindi po nakatapak sa lupa. Ang Building C, dinagdagan ng Building D, nasa gilid, sa may kanan. Originally four floors naging walong palapag po yan,” (“Most of us think City Hall is one big building. But the truth is, it’s comprised of four structures. The gray portion is the original structure. They added in front the blue portion. And on the side, they added the orange portion, which doesn’t have its own foundation. Only the sides have a foundation. You can see they just built it on top of the original building, and the center part of the addition, Building C, doesn’t touch the ground. Then they added Building D, the green structure, to one side on the right. What was originally four floors became eight floors.”) the mayor shared in his presentation of the summary of the current condition of the city hall in his speech last night, July 2, 2023.
The LGU consulted with over a dozen consultants – engineers, planners, and conservationists, and none of them recommended a retrofit. Pasig City Hall has been unanimously deemed as structurally unsound and it would cost more to strengthen it than to demolish and build anew. Not to mention, the City Engineer’s office does not have Pasig City Hall’s as-built plans.
The plan prioritizes inclusivity and accessibility across the city’s demographics, with an eye towards sustainability: the buildings will incorporate solar power, with large green spaces open for public use. The redevelopment goes beyond the city hall and incorporates a facilities update for the Pasig City Mega Market. The plan notably folds in the old Mutya ng Pasig revolving restaurant tower, which will be repurposed into a viewing deck and will serve as the complex’s architectural symbol.
Mayor Sotto adds: “Malalaman niyo po ang nangyayari every step of the way. Sisiguraduhin natin na future-proof ang gagawin natin na maaaari nating pakinabangan pero maaari rin nating ipasa ng maayos sa susunod na henerasyon ng Pasigueño. Siempre, hihingi ako ng pasensya sa inyo dahil medyo Malaki ang proyekto, hindi po madali ang gagawin natin.” (“You are going to know what is happening every step of the way. We will make sure what we build is future-proof, something we all will benefit from and that we can safely hand down (hand over?) to future generations of Pasigueños. I ask for your patience because this is a big project, and it is not an easy one.”) •
Total design consultant Royal Pineda on the design of the Pasig City Hall Campus