Tower One

Can a new office tower blur the divide between private and public?

Manila, Philippines
Design Development

The headquarters for one of the most dynamic real estate developers in Asia, Tower One sits a few blocks from Manila Bay. 

The structure is a solid mass of concrete and steel that acts as both a public and a private space. The building’s façade is punctuated with a cascade of perforated glass panels, allowing light to pour into the first-floor retail and parking levels. As the building gets taller, the diagrid arrangement of perforated metal panels transitions into an icy plane of ceramic fritted glass. At the two most prominent corners of the structure’s top, the glass breaks out into a shimmering crystal formation that displays an anamorphic projection of the company’s logo, which changes depending on the onlooker’s location.

The design also incorporates strategies that respond to Manila’s tropical climate. Shaded outdoor areas and specially-treated materials reduce heat gain and improve ventilation throughout the building and carpark.

  • PROJECT TEAM: Carlos Arnaiz, Nutchanun Boontassaro, Laura del Pino
  • CLIENT: SM Investments