ICONE TOWER The Light of Manila

This a new upcoming project in Bonifacio Global City beside UPTOWN MALL by BCDA and Henning Larsen HongKong. This would give the neighborhood community in Uptown Bonifacio a sense of prime location to WORK-LIVE PLAY & SHOP. This will serve as a new benchmark to the skyscrapers in Metro Manila and would revolutionize the way we picture the skies.

Below are all the words of the Partner and Design Director of The ICONE Tower and I also added the Video below which I used as a reference.

Claude Bojer Godefroy (Partner and Design Director) – Bonifacio Global City will soon work on a very special building it will transform its image and become a new focal point of Manila. I think its a good idea to add more character in the business district that have few distinctive buildings, I think its a good idea to make a statement about building in Manila today, a statement about being generous with public space, about giving back to the city and of course to its people, a statement about filipino architecture is about, but first we have to understand what makes the ICONE successful.

What is an Icon? – An icon needs to capture popular imagination and it needs to be instantly recognizable, it needs to be a symbol of the nation it represents and finally it needs to be eternal. Therefor designing an icon is not just about creating a beautiful form, it is the meaning of the form, the use of the form, and how this form can be timeless. For me the right form depends on we response to the context, the site, local culture, climate and the people.

Our site is in the heart of Manila’s most vibrant center. We have a unique opportunity to give it a world class skyscraper and a world class space at its foot . The difficulty is the challenge to exist in such a dense site, with other tall buildings so close to us, how can we stand out here? I believe it is crucial to be taller that the neighbors are. Our skyscraper needs to reach up to find some space to shine, it needs to be a significant part of the skyline Bonifacio Global City and of Manila.


To achieve the hight we position our public program at the base and at the top of the tower, where offices would not be efficient or offer enough daylight. By slanting the facade to merge the program into one form, we get a stiff pyramid. In the master plan as well we need to differentiate our selves from the surroundings, therefor we propose a pedestrian level, the ellipse freeze up the ground floor and binds together the entire neighborhood, the ellipse ensures the urban ventilation which helps to cool and cleans out the air. It also insures minimal obstruction of the views and daylight from the surrounding residential buildings, keeping neighbors happy. The elliptic plan combine with the pyramid creates an elliptic cone, we call it the ICONE tower.

Local Culture – The ICONE Tower stands out in its context and it is efficient and logical, but it also has to relate to the filipino culture. I think one way to relate to people is by connecting and by continuing existing parts of their culture. We encountered the cone well before the site demanded it from us in filipino nature. An existing icon of the Philippines is the perfect cone of Mount Mayon, a majestic volcano rising in the outskirts of Manila, a pure and a strong form reaching for the sky. We want to reproduce this qualities in ICONE Tower. Another major existing icon in the Philippines is the “Bahay Kubo” the archetype of philippine architecture. The famous filipino architect Bobby Mañosa showed in his work that we can the wisdom found in traditions to contemporary designs.

A perfect structure – The Philippines are prone to earthquakes and typhoons. The cone is the optimum form to reduce the structural cost to resist those forces. The ICONE Tower is designed to be a perfect structure, the floor span between the stepping core and an exoskeleton.

The exoskeleton becomes the most expressive part of the design. it is an almost gothic structure with arches distributing the loads. It has a very vertical expression that intensifies the celestial effect of the skyscraper just as in cathedrals.

Then there a questions of the durability of the design. The pipelines of tall buildings in Manila is full of eye catching designs, however two icons have to be both eye catching and timeless. The integration to the site, the cultural relevance, and the purity of the form of ICONE Tower is likely to make it last as an internal achievement in Manila.

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