PROS Architects and Planners

San Agustin Convent

Project Title & Location
Additions to the San Agustin Convent
Intramuros, Manila

Client

Venerando Orden de San Agustin

Project Completion

January 2001

Associated Firms

PROS Architects & Engineers
ECT Consulting Engineers
Mendoza Engienering - Sanitary Engineer
Cesar A. Tadeo - Electrical Engineer

Services Provided
- Historic research
- Architectural & Engineering design services

Intramuros is a historic district of Manila that has its own building and zoning regulations. These aims to restore the 18th and 19th century architecture prevailing in the area before their destruction in 1945. Fortunate for the San Agustin Church and Convent located in Intramuros, the American liberating forces did not demolish the church. Left standing, this provided an on-site marker for the artillerymen in zeroing on their targets in the district. As one of the oldest churches in the country, it is now inscripted in UNESCO's Heritage List. When the Agustinian Order opted to open a museum in the church, its convent housing the living quarters of the order was used. This reduced the quarters of the growing congregation. To compensate for this loss, the proposal is to build an addition beside the 3-storey structure at the corner of General Luna and Real Streets. The addition follows the architectural context of the adjacent buildings. This is in keeping with the very strict requirements for designing in heritage zones.

The design proposal has passed the scrutiny of the Intramuros Administration as well as the heritage consultants of UNESCO. For the architecture to be appreciated, the building must be viewed from the inner patio, the grounds of which are to be elevated to keep off high-tide waters.

In the future, studies are to be made to determine if the ruins at the rear of the compound can be viably restored. Also, the drainage issues are to be resolved in the study.