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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Iconic architectural structures in the Philippines – incredible design features
Joanna James Joanna James
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Iconic architectural structures in the Philippines – incredible design features

Be it historic museums or modern-day, spacious office buildings, the Philippines houses an impressive collection of architectural feats which retains a special place in its cultural footprint.


The Mind Museum

Located in the stunning Bonifacio Global City, the Mind Museum stands out for more than just being at the forefront of hosting exhibitions in this locale. Considered the brainchild of Lor and Ed Calma, the museum is well noted for not appearing the same when viewed from various angles and was recently accredited at the 20th Annual Thea Awards for its invaluable contribution as one of Asia's finest science museums.


San Miguel Corporation Building

Inspired by Ildefonso Santos who is considered to be the 'father of Philippine landscape architecture' and brought to life by the brothers, Jose, Manuel, and Francisco Manosa, the San Miguel Corporation Building is simply a sight to behold. Having integrated design features that draw a parallel with Banaue rice terraces, this masterpiece serves as the head office of one of the country's biggest companies.


National Theater

Once having functioned as the Theater of Performing Arts, the National Theater which is set on a magnificent 88-hectare state-owned land would represent something quite extraordinary. This is largely owing to the fact that the theater whose design was thought of and executed by Leandro Locsin incorporated his 'signature volume' characteristic. Thus, the theater with its combination of elevated structures and excessive use of concrete gives off a feeling of a building which simply put, floats!


Main Building of University of Santo Tomas

Found along Espana Boulevard is the oldest university in the Philippines. The University of Santo Tomas and its appealing Main Building has quite the tale to tell. Designed from 1920 to 1923 by Spanish priest Father Roque Ruano, the Main Building has been etched in the historic annals of the Philippines as being the country's 1st earthquake-resistant construction.


Zuellig Building

Made out of glass, the Zuellig Building and its almost impossible to recognize glass edges are a sight for sore eyes. Located in the Makati Business District and in close proximity to Ascott Makati, visitors residing at some of the nearby luxury apartments Manila has to offer will find this construction too stunning and mysterious to casually looking past. This is because its design elements make it blend in with its surroundings and also disappear into oblivion in the blink of an eye. Also, the building achieved the unique feat of being the recipient of the platinum level certification of Leader in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) from the US Green Building Council.



The Proscenium maximizes the brilliant use of glass and steel in what is one of the Philippine's outstanding contemporary engineering accomplishments. Constructed around a cultural plaza, the Proscenium allows visitors to take advantage of a fine arts museum, art galleries, multi-purpose hall and a book museum which are all neatly nestled here. Outside of the Proscenium, one will discover an abundance of greenery; a feature of the area which arguably received due consideration by the designer himself, Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott.