Dangwa Manila is a modest yet bustling neighbourhood in downtown Manila known best as a sourcing hub for different kinds of flowers especially busy on Valentine’s Day and All Soul’s Day. It is characterized by tight streets and 1950’s architecture giving you a glimpse of the “Old Manila”, chaotic yet charming.

We were commissioned to be part of the team to re- invent the design of a Philippine chain of schools and universities, Phinma Education. Unlike other developers who would demolish the original structure of the building to make new ones from the ground up, the company’s philosophy was to preserve and celebrate the old architecture by doing a facelift and repairs to restore the façade. They also take inspiration from the art deco era and to complete and tie up the look at night, a strong facade lighting concept was required.

We took cue from the architecture style and went with a contemporary approach. The lighting objective was simple, to make the façade stand out from the surrounding environment. To make a statement. Warm light bathes the façade and highlights it’s features in a grand way. From the custom decorative glass wall lights on 1st floor glowing and giving softness to the façade, the wide-angle linear projectors up lighting the horizontal moldings, and high-powered narrow beam projectors on the facade body, lifting the structure with light gradually fading to the top. Each strategy was deliberate to give splendour to the façade and in turn also elevate the neighbourhood. When the project was completed, and the lights were finally turned on, not only the client but the residents of Dangwa were happy as well about the new building in their neighbourhood. Many selfies were taken and shared on social media, it brought a sense of pride to the residents, and improved safety and security in the area.


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