Baguio Technohub Campus Retail VillageEdit profile
In 1904, renowned American architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham set his eyes on a cool, rustic plateau in the Northern Philippines. He envisioned a retreat or hill station that was both cozy and in harmony with nature. Using Arts and Crafts styled chalets found in the Adirondacks, it became a genteel fantasyland for the weary American colonialists. In 1909, the hill station was established as the City of Baguio, and within it Camp John Hay, well known as the summer capital of the Philippines. A hundred years later, Aidea was commissioned to conceptualize an information-technology facility in Camp John Hay as a continuance of Burnham’s plan. Thus, the Baguio Technohub Campus becomes the realization of the original vision. Both the culture and history of Baguio is bridged into the present. This is a timely direction given the city’s recent centennial celebration and approval of the pending Baguio Heritage Ordinance. The first phase of the campus is a Retail Village. The challenge was to create a unique and progressive commercial center in a “Baguio style` setting. The eight retail cabins were designed to be single-storied with deep porches to provide dramatic vistas. Generous walkways combined with clustered cabins convey a pleasant sense of scale. A typical cabin may be divided into retail cuts of around 80 square meters each. To meet current market needs, this module can be further subdivided into 30-45 square meter units, well-suited for smaller businesses. Wall surfaces were treated to simulate wood clapboarding while long-span roofing was used to replicate Baguio structures at the same time making the development more cost efficient. The green and white palette used is also a Baguio trademark, while the wood trim detailing, gabled roofs and railing design are adapted from key structures in the camp. Harmony with nature is achieved by working closely with trees and sloping terrain. Not a single tree is to be cut, and a safe 3-meter margin is maintained so as not to upset the sensitive pines. By keeping a low elevation, all buildings are kept below the mean tree height. Covered porches allow people to comfortably mingle with nature while providing necessary shade from the sun. The undulating topography of the site is maximized through varying floor elevations and the location of all utilities within crawlspaces. The Retail Village is truly a unique destination. It accomplishes the designer’s vision at the same time continuing history in a modern setting. One can pass the time and reminisce an era long gone while enjoying the cool temperature and pines that only Baguio can provide. Today, the spirit of Baguio still lives.