Soon To Rise: The New Senate Building

MUNI > TRENDS

Seventeen years ago, it was just a proposal. Now, it is set to be a reality as the new Senate building will soon rise in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Photo credit: spot.ph

Out of 40 firms who presented designs for the new Senate building, engineering firm AECOM’s design was chosen. It has brilliant features that will make the building green, secure, and functional. The new Senate building will have four buildings that represent the four pillars of democracy: justice, equality, freedom, and representation. The pillars will house the Senate offices. At the center, there will be a plaza where people can walk through.

The four buildings will then seamlessly lead to the session hall. The new session hall will be in a semi-circular formation, comparable to the designs of the U.S .Senate and The Assemblee National in Paris. This type of set-up is a refreshing break from the classroom-type session hall in the current Senate building in Pasay City.

The facade of the new Senate will feature a barong Tagalog-like design, adding a Filipino touch to the structure. There will be screens that will provide protection and privacy. A brise soleil will also help deflect sunlight. There will also be green open spaces, a public park outside, and green roofs and terracing on the building.

Environment-friendly materials will be used for construction as it is poised to be a building that is energy and water efficient. Total energy savings will be up to 73 percent, while water consumption will be reduced by 30 to 50 percent. Construction will start by January 2019 and is expected to finish in December 2020.

The Senate agreed to pay a maximum of P90,000 per square meter for the 18,320-sqm lot in Taguig. The design submitted by AECOM is worth less than P5 billion. Since 1996, the Senate has been paying rent to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the use of its current building and to the Social Security System (SSS) for the use of its parking lot.

Senate Accounts Committee Chair Panfilo Lacson, said that the new Senate building is a legacy of the 17th Congress or the centennial senators. “The Senate of the Philippines, having recently celebrated its first centennial, our vision is to provide a design that will symbolize the Senate for what it stands for, a design that will become a landmark for the Filipino people, and a design that can take the Senate of the Philippines to the next 100 more years and beyond.“

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