Rationalizing an Idealistic City Plan – Three Projects at Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila

Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic
Principal, Design Director
Gensler, Chicago

Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is a substantial development in metro Manila. Being a most recent development, it is also one of the most socially attractive and vibrant satellite cities in Metro Manila, with state-of-the-art office, retail, hospitality, housing and open space programs. A major pedestrian retail shopping area called High Street, with mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, acts as a spine, running through entire development, linking various programs and offering more interaction with the neighborhoods and a true pedestrian-friendly experience. How did this development happen? Fort Bonifacio, a former US military base until the early 1990s, and now an aspiring new satellite city of Metro Manila, is the result of a new master plan that was developed, introducing radial city grid, site parceling, and infrastructure allocation. This master plan was further developed in the late ‘90s through mid-2000’s, and in 2005 and 2006, it was altered to address site efficiency issues, consequently resulting in an orthogonal street grid overlay on the existing rounded grid. This process created unique and challenging individual site for future developers. More broadly, it also brought forward critical topics, including sociology, economics and of course, politics, at the root of new urban developments.

This presentation examines three different projects developed over the last seven years, in collaboration with a local developer, to understand the impact each individual project had towards building a larger contextual response and contribution to the success of Bonifacio Global City. Lessons learned in this process can be utilized across entire Souteast Asia region.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation