June 10, 2021

Foster + Partners and the future of Architecture as Art

Art, over the past couple of millennia, has been the primary medium through which humans have expressed themselves and their context. With the passing of time, styles have changed: from cave drawings to non-figurative abstractions—art has continued to span and showcase different innovations in material and technique. Viewing architecture through the lens of art reflects the human expression on the earth’s tierra pura, the undisturbed landscapes on which we have expressed our worldly needs of shelter and workspace, and our ideals of governance, trade, and religion.
Numerous architects throughout the past half century have modernized what we understand architecture to be: Frank Lloyd Wright and his usurpation of the traditional meanings of a home, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe whose linear planes redefined “thinking outside the box”, and Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry whose surrealist shapes make unabashed statements in the landscapes they stand on.
Sustainability is at the heart of The Estate Makati with many passive design techniques built into the structure. It features a self-cleaning facade, lessening the need for washing and maintenance, as well as a cruciform shape to give optimized views of the Ayala Avenue and Urdaneta skylines.
Someone whose vision has redefined skylines through almost 400 developments around the world is Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Norman Foster. He and his firm, the internationally-lauded Foster + Partners, understand architecture does not exist in a vacuum: it is meant to be used and to be of use, not only to its inhabitants but to those that surround it. They are responsible for many of the inimitable shapes that inhabit global skylines: The Gherkin in London, the Apple Park in Cupertino, and the Hong Kong International Airport. But as David Nelson, the firm’s Head of Design, explains, the fantastical shapes their developments take are not designed to simply draw out adoration from those who encounter them. “It’s not an arbitrary line. It’s in the shape that it is to allow us to control air movement and wind. We discovered a long while ago that changing the section of a building or the elevation of a building actually can reduce the amount of steel they use or concrete to hold it up. All of that is built into the nature of that shape.”
Read more: Philippine Daily Inquirer