• Residences at The Galleon
  • Pasig City
  • Ortigas Center

Reimagining The Galleon

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BY JUAN DELA CRUZ

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Centuries after the reign of galleons and the galleon trade bid farewell, a reimagined, alternate reality where galleons are made of glass and steel, and the ocean is hardened with asphalt and concrete holds true to this day. Enter The Galleon, Ortigas Center’s sole mixed-use development as of date. 

The galleon, reimagined 

From the first appearance of the galleon during the 16th century until the completion of the world’s first modern skyscraper in 1885, the role of mixed-use developments, either in the form of ships or high-rise buildings, remains significant. 

Galleons holding tens and hundreds of crew members were destined to hold annual round trips either for trade or for national defense. Hence, galleons were naturally designed with multiple compartments to accommodate various activities and necessities—with zoning primarily achieved through its several decks. 

At present, mixed-use developments hold the same zoning principle but at a larger scope, either in the form of land use for urban developments or by exclusively assigning typologies to each floor level for multi-storey buildings. 

The Galleon continues the legacy of its naval counterpart by integrating retail, office and residential components into this 6,996-sqm mixed-use development. 

The ocean, reimagined 

Throughout history, galleons were used to traverse vast oceans in search of better resources and to pioneer economic trade. May it be the galleon or The Galleon, both recognize the importance of accessibility and surrounding themselves with adequate resources to uphold the way of life of their occupants. 

While the obsolete galleons crossed waters and were constantly on the move, this urban galleon sits at the heart of Ortigas Center, one of Metro Manila’s bustling business districts. Its boundaries extend to the cities of Mandaluyong and Pasig, with strong combinations of commercial and residential developments that make Ortigas Center one of the most established business districts in the Philippines. 

More specifically, The Galleon is in close proximity to some of the most well-known malls and educational institutions in the country for heightened work-life balance to its occupants. It is also conveniently surrounded by several transportation terminals and MRT stations such as the Edsa Ortigas MRT Station and the Edsa Shaw MRT Station. 

The multi-decked 

Interiors, reimagined Divided into three parts, The Galleon anchors itself to the ground with a seven- 

story podium that represents the “hull,” which is the lower part of a ship. The podium is then divided into a five-level podium parking and a two-level parking space. 

Throughout the podium’s façade, contrasting vertical louvers that unify into a wave-like pattern mimic ocean currents where the galleon is sailing through. While The Galleon holds stationary, the memories of its naval origin remain intact. 

Upon reaching the topmost level of the podium, the Galleon fragments into two separate towers called “Offices at The Galleon” and “Residences at The Galleon.” The 39-story Offices at The Galleon features Grade-A traditional office spaces for sale catering to headquarter-type tenants. Meanwhile, the 51-story Residences at The Galleon will be divided into 43 residential floors and one amenity floor in addition to the seven-level podium. 

The sails, reimagined  

Just as how the sails of a galleon can command wind pressure to move smoothly, the curved, sail-like massing of The Galleon navigates the aerodynamic performance of the entire development. It employs spanning arched roofing at the top combined with a curved silhouette. While irregular forms as such may impose challenging structural designs due to their complex structural frameworks, they can also be advantageous in reducing wind load effects and building responses, critical elements that define the safety and serviceability of high-rise buildings such as The Galleon. 

At the same time, its curved surfaces can also offer panoramic views of the surrounding vicinity while reducing potential blind spots to the rest of the units. 

Further extending the 227.49-meter height of The Galleon is the tower spire that represents the mast of a galleon or any other ship. In naval design, the mast is defined as the vertical pole that rises from a ship and supports the sails. In the design of The Galleon, however, it raises the integrity of this towering skyscraper to be one with the continuously growing skyline of the Ortigas Center. 

The passengers, reimagined At Residences at The Galleon, residents are the ones in charge. 

Occupants are in for a magnificent surprise with 509 high-end units classified from one-bedroom, corner, to penthouse configurations. Each unit is generously sized between 69 and 411 sqm, complete with scenic views of the Ortigas Center. 

Thoughtfully designed to look and feel luxurious, smart home features as well as green design solutions will be used to partake in the development’s environmental responsibility. To guarantee the health and safety of its occupants, 100 percent ecological decorative solutions were used to give its interiors a comfortable and sophisticated feel. 

Honoring the obsolete, the modern way 

In a reimagined, alternate reality where galleons are made of glass and steel and the ocean is hardened with asphalt and concrete, the way that The Galleon immortalized these trade and defense ships shows how mixed-use developments can shape societies for the many years to come. 

The author is the principal architect at Fulgar Architects creating unique and extraordinary design specialties for various property ventures from hotels, condominiums, museums, commercial, to mixed-use township developments. Please visit www.ianfulgar.com 

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