Where We Are Going

The building matches STAR’s dignity as an institution of truth

Published Jul 23, 2021 8:00 am

What’s in the new Philippine STAR building? A lot of glass and a lot of steel.

But if you ask the architect who designed it, the building is not just about the materials that make it robust and regal. The soul of the building lies deeper than its physical foundation.

“We wanted the building to embody the values of Philippine STAR,” explains architect Zoilo Renzo Amador of The Design Group.

“Revisiting its roots, it has become an institution of truth and information that has been steadfast in sharing our country’s stories — each a ripple in time. The design included subtle expressions of this ripple both in the exterior and the interior. Furthermore, we hope that the building would project strength but not rigidity, respect with dynamism, and finally, light and transparency.”

“Transparency is our forefront theme since we see The Philippine STAR as a source of everyday truths of the Filipino people. We gave priority in the development of the feeling of maaliwalas in the office spaces to allow much-needed natural light to enter the workplace,” Amador says. 

The Philippine STAR represents this ripple of truth: the unfolding of history with each published article as it reaches Filipinos wherever they are in the world, creating ripples as it transcends from mere events to historical monuments.

“Upright refers to the firm and solid impression that the composition must project. This refers to the idea of having a strong foundation that, even if uprooted from its original position, The Philippine STAR will prevail. The design reflects this with the truthful expression of its frames and lines, resulting in a visual inertia that presents stability in the overall composition.”

 Philippine STAR president and CEO Miguel G. Belmonte, Philippine STAR CFO Carlos Dizon, lead architect of The Design Group Zoilo Renzo Amador and CT Consigna president engineer Cipriano Consigna Jr. get ready to lower the time capsule during groundbreaking rights for the new STAR office in March 2021. Photo by GEREMY PINTOLO

Transcendence, he says, is the idea wherein the design must exemplify The Philippine STAR’s growth from the shell of its origin. The design must express their workflows and preferences transformed by experience. 

“Dynamism is presented through the idea of flow and movement through architecture and space. The composition will show visual movement in support of transcendence, leading to the development’s concept while maintaining smooth and efficient use of space,” adds Amador.

Before the internet, it was the daily newspaper that connected people. It was through its printed stories that a community was duly informed about the current events.

 The Philippine STAR’s project management team: (From left) Lead engineer Maanne Isidro, and engineers Japhet Deniola and Neslyn Principio are the ones making sure that all bases are covered in design and construction.

“It is through this that The Philippine STAR contributes to the country’s story — each a ripple in time. The most remarkable parts of history were those that were most written about. The most read chapters of books were those that left marks, waves, or ripples when closed. The Philippine STAR represents this ripple of truth: the unfolding of history with each published article as it reaches Filipinos wherever they are in the world, creating ripples as it transcends from mere events to historical monuments.”

Amador says, “The Philippine STAR project brings us great pride and joy. The design process we applied yielded remarkable results. We are very grateful for the design experience and to all the teams involved. 

 Lead architect Zoilo Renzo Amador is flanked by architects Kristina Mae Banzon and Nikkolai Samantha Tuason-Sy of The Design Group

“The process took us approximately half a year, excluding the impact of the pandemic. As this project is a rare typology to design, we approached it in a highly collaborative method. We find design as a conversation and the resulting architecture, a story.”

Amador reveals that The STAR is very hands-on in design. “From the first day we pitched our vision, The STAR executives were present in design discussions, the staff had specific requirements that they communicated very well with us, and even the warehouse team carefully walked us through their facility to explain every function of the spaces and equipment — truly every architect’s dream. 

 CT Consigna president engineer Cipriano Consigna Jr.: We are deeply honored to be a part of this project in helping turn The Philippine STAR’s vision into reality.
  Engr. Jun Consigna joins the site team from C.T. Consigna Construction Corp.
 Engineering designer A.C. Ong president Alden C. Ong

The Philippine STAR will have a home that matches its dignity as an institution of truth.”

Amador clarifies that there was no intent to overwhelm with dramatic design, but instead, focus is on a functional flow and carefully crafted environment that harmonized with The Philippine STAR’s work culture. What was incorporated was the ripple; a subtle play of form through terraces. 

Solar panels were not yet included in the design, but energy-saving methods through spatial planning were prioritized in allowing the entry of natural light. We have studied the sun pattern, which led us to know what kind of treatment will be needed per side of the building.

“Those that will be exposed to the morning sun will be protected with vertical fins. Northern areas, where shadows will mostly cover the side, will be allowed to open up. Those that will be exposed on the western side were protected with horizontal ledges to create shadows and manage the entry of the warm sun. Luckily, the southern side, which is most exposed to the sun, is allowed to extend towards the boundary of the property, minimizing the need for openings,” Amador explains.

He adds that the printing press, where ventilation is key for a good working environment and operation, is designed to have an entry and exit of air, allowing good airflow and reducing the need for mechanical means of ventilation. “We are also looking into the application of solar tubes to passively light the space during the day.” 

Is there an element in this very “now” building that has a connection to its 35-year-old history? “We wanted to incorporate in the design an essential part of the printing process: the printing plates.”

It is a newspaper building that embraces the future where only natural sunlight coming in from the glass walls blends with the light of computers.

MILLET M. MANANQUIL, The Philippine STAR

Millet Martinez Mananquil is associate editor and Lifestyle editor of The Philippine STAR. She enjoys spending work days with her staffers... and date nights with Gong Yoo, Hyun Bin, Park Bo-gum and Nam Joo-hyuk.