PSALM completes the Architectural Concept Design Competition for its Diliman Property

08 Jul 2019

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has selected the architectural conceptual design submitted by WTA Design Studio as the winning conceptual design for PSALM’s Diliman property. This is the culmination of a three-day rigorous selection process held from 03 July 2019 to 05 July 2019 at the headquarters of PSALM.

WTA Design Studio’s conceptual design entry entitled “The East Grid” was selected for its multi-dimensional people-oriented concept of developing a new environmentally friendly business center that integrates energy efficient systems and innovative and sustainable design ideas. This design entry assimilates pedestrian friendly spaces, interactive installations, bike trails, green promenades, alfresco spaces, and play areas into a development that will ensure a net leasable space of about 400,000 square meters.

This winning conceptual design of WTA Design Studio will be utilized by PSALM as the basis for the master planning and the privatization options for the Diliman Property, a 5.195-hectare asset of PSALM located at Quezon Avenue corner BIR Road, Quezon City.

PSALM’s President and CEO, Atty. Irene Besido-Garcia emphasized that this architectural conceptual design competition is a critical component of the company’s privatization program. She said, “The objective of the competition is to fully maximize the utilization of the Quezon City property, study carefully the possible highest and best use for it and ensure that the Government can strategically take advantage of the property’s full potentials.” An outright sale of the land is much easier but less advantageous for the Government than purposefully developing it in accordance with its best use and eventually ensuring a substantial income stream and steady cash flow that the Government can enjoy.

The plan is to develop the Diliman property into a commercial center with high-rise mixed-use development, offering both office spaces and retail spaces. It will be an accredited economic zone that will also provide offices for PSALM, the National Power Corporation, TRANSCO and other members of the Energy family that would like to move to the said location. The design contest specifically required that the design entries would have to integrate into such development the existing two (2) buildings designed by the National Artist Leandro V. Locsin, in compliance with the requirements of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

The selection committee is composed of representatives from the United Architects of the Philippines, the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, the UP College of Architecture, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Quezon City Planning Development Office, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, and officials of the Department of Energy and Department of Finance, and PSALM.

The competition was publicly announced in March 2019. There were nine (9) architectural firms that expressed interest to join and subsequently submitted the pre-qualifying requirements. A stringent process was then followed to review the credentials, background and completed works of the said firms including the expertise and achievements of the partners representing the firms. Five (5) shortlisted architectural firms were carefully chosen to proceed to the next phase of the competition, which involved the preparation of the architectural conceptual design and the necessary presentation materials. Each of the 5 firms presented and explained their design concepts and answered the challenging questions of the selection committee members. The criteria for evaluation of the designs included originality and innovation of the design concept, economic feasibility and marketability, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, functionality and modularity and landscaping.

WTA Design Studio will receive a cash prize of PHP 4 million. The prize is conservative enough to cover all components of its entry design such as the architectural conceptualization and intellectual property, the submitted scale model, the CAD video walk-through, the study on the developmental and financial costing, and other considerations to meet PSALM’s objective for the highest and best use for an environmentally friendly and energy efficient property.

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