“The opportunity to have it all comes but once a lifetime,” said JBROS Construction Corporation President Jesusito Legaspi, Jr. “While we are, literally, changing the map of Manila, where will you be?”
Envisioning a brighter and more sustainable future for the Filipino capital, JBROS Construction Corporation engaged WTA Architecture and Design Studio, with the support of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, to launch Horizon Manila, a large-scale reclamation project that aims to transform the local metropolitan landscape with a man-made island city by Manila Bay.
The 419-hectare project comprises 28 districts scattered across a three-island city structure. Award-winning Filipino-Chinese architect William Ti, who formulated the Manileño masterplan, shares that the idea is for Manila to reconnect modernity with nature.
“Horizon Manila is the foundation stone for this future,” said Ti. “It is a city that centers on our people and their communities — a city that is so intertwined with the water and nature that everyday life becomes a joy. Each neighborhood on every island, each facility, and each icon are meant to bring about a healthier and more holistic community.”
Reclaiming the city for the people
As the densest city in the world, it is more pressing than ever for Manila to innovate and address its worsening traffic congestion. By 2035, the local population is projected to reach 18.6 million from 2020’s 13.9 million, increasing the count by more than 30%. In response to this, Horizon Manila proposes an innovative solution by visualizing the City of Tomorrow: If there is not enough space for Filipinos to productively move around in, why not create more?
Following the success of previous reclamation works such as the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project, the SM Mall of Asia Bay Area, and the Cebu South Road Properties, among others, Horizon Manila seeks to continue an increasingly dynamic line of urban development. In order to do so, the project intends to reclaim not only land but also the modern Manileño future: a community-driven city laid across three islands that feature sustainable power sources, open green spaces, and world-class facilities which all work together to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle for Filipino residents.
The epitome of modern living
Modernizing does not mean forgoing Manila’s long and rich history. Rather, Horizon Manila aims to reconstruct the city’s metropolitan character by creating sustainable living environments that are ideal for the ever-evolving Filipino lifestyle. One key feature of the project, for instance, is a four-kilometer waterway that bisects the three-island construct, serving as a reservoir, an avenue for efficient transportation, as well as a reinforcement of Manila’s historical identity as a riverside city.
In addition to this, Horizon Manila will be composed of 28 districts centered on the culture and the arts, retail and commercial development, and residential living. Future amenities and facilities are planned with the blueprints of a more robust social architecture, including a contemporary art museum, a market square, schools, hotels, arenas, parks, and other public spaces. The development will also be generating power with sustainable and clean energy through the use of vortex bladeless wind turbines and solar panels.
“Manila yearns for a future where we can look beyond our basic needs and enjoy the beauty and majesty of a city that can best represent our people,” explained managing architect William Ti. “Horizon Manila is a city built with purpose. Every small detail serves a vital and essential function that strengthens the whole.”
Funded completely by the private sector — at no expense to the government — the islands of Horizon Manila are set to start reclamation during the second half of 2021 and are projected to be completed within the next six to eight years. The new city will be made accessible by the mainland via a viaduct and an integrated monorail system stretching out to Roxas Boulevard.
“Culture and character or progress and development? Urban living or waterside living? Once upon a time, people had to choose,” said JBROS President Jesusito Legaspi, Jr.
Evidently, the future shows that this is no longer the case.
Legaspi concluded: “Horizon Manila is the only choice.”