In light of the numerous issues and threats toward modern built heritage in the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas (UST) faculty member Ar. Caryn Paredes-Santillan, Ph.D., presented her research paper, “Losing Locsin: Modern built heritage in danger,” during the Manila Studies Association (MSA) 29th Annual Manila Studies Conference held via Zoom on September 12, 2020.
The MSA Webinar series was held on September 12, 19, and 26, 2020, co-hosted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Philippine National Historical Society. The event was held through Zoom and was aired live on their Facebook page. This year’s conference centered on three main themes: Manila’s Built Heritage, Manila’s History and Culture, and Manila during and after World War II and featured speakers such as EA Sembrano, Santillan, Timothy James Vitales, Rodio Batayen, Martin Gaerlan, Mary Josefti Nito, Marcelino Macapinlac, Jr. and Kinna Mae Kwan.
In her presentation, Santillan, a Research Associate of the Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Topics of the UST Graduate School, reviewed three ‘lost’ works of the 1990 National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, namely: Ayala Museum, Hyatt Regency Hotel, and Mandarin Oriental Manila. She discussed her analysis of their object form and spatial form and how this data could be utilized to derive the significance of the buildings. She further underscored the importance of the academe taking an active role in conservation, as we are losing important buildings despite them being protected under the Philippine Heritage Act of 2009 or the R.A. 10066.
Architect Leandro V. Locsin, the subject of Santillan’s research, is a celebrated alumnus of the UST College of Architecture from batch 1953. Locsin’s architectural genius has produced designs for residences and buildings, churches and chapels, public and commercial buildings, major hotels, and an airport terminal building. One of Locsin’s most famous works is the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex which includes the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Theater, Philippine International Convention Center, Philcite, and the Westin Hotel (now Sofitel Philippine Plaza). He is also known for the Istana Nurul Iman, the palace of the Sultan of Brunei, a massive single work with a floor area of 2.2 million square feet.
The proceedings of the papers presented during the webinar series will be published in “Manila,” the official publication of the MSA. Editors of this annual journal include Ar. Lorelei D.C. de Viana Ph.D., a faculty member of UST College of Architecture, and Dr. Marya Svetlana T. Camacho, Ph.D.
The presentation can be viewed through this link: https://web.facebook.com/118544369976497/videos/336688937530753/ Santillan’s presentation is from 1:31:00 to 2:01:00.