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Reimagining How Form Meets Function: Camsur Capitol

Location: Camarines Sur Province, Philippines

Status: Under Construction

Type: Master Plan


Iconic buildings often act as representations of place and identity; the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, and The Colosseum all immediately paint vivid pictures of culture. In designing a multi-functional civic space for Phillippines’ Camarines Sur Province, it was paramount to project an identity that respects the deep ancestral heritage of the place while embracing its current communities needs and aspirations.

The Phillippines’ Camarines Sur Province landscape is home to many natural wonders such as Lake Buhi, Mt. Isarog, and the Caramoan Coast. However, the tropical climate supports powerful storms that are armatures of massive devastation in the region. The design of the new Capital of the Philippines’ Camarines Sur Province offers an opportunity to radically question what a civic space is capable of providing for a community challenged by such polarized natural conditions. Conceived as a part of a massive public-private development initiative, the Camsur Capitol will be complemented by affordable housing, new industry, and the construction and improvement of regional mass transit. The Capitol will be an exploration in constructing a physical symbol of identity that embraces the region’s landscape, material culture, and indigenous heritage to create a new public symbol of the Province’s strength and unity.

The Camsur Capitol, oriented with the Mt. Isarog volcano, is woven into the landscape and acts as a mediator of the natural and built environment. During extreme weather conditions, the Capitol uses environmental resiliency strategies to act as an emergency shelter to the community and allow for government activity to continue safely.

Additional project contributors include : Laura del Pino, Alden Ching, Kate Sarmiento, Jun Deng, Ignacio Revenga, Valentina Buratti, Haoran Wang, Magdalena Fronska.