Saving the Jewel By Rafael Martin G. Musa

Saving the Jewel

​​By Rafael Martin G. Musa


Mandarin Oriental Manila is a Five Star Hotel Located in Makati City, Metro Manila. It is considered by many as the Jewel of Makati City's skyline because of its unique and monumental appearance amongst the surrounding structures. 

The hotel was designed by the late Architect Leandro Locsin, a National Artist of the Philippines in the Field of Architecture. For Decades, the hotel served important gatherings and guests from people around the world. 

Many Filipino Architects consider the building as a National treasure, a valuable piece of architecture that must be protected. 

However, in 2014, Mandarin Oriental Manila Operations Management announced the closure of the Hotel to the public, to make way for its demolition. Many architects and individuals protested against this and called for the protection of the Building. 

The Jewel of Makati has been so old and out dated compare to the new classy hotels surrounding it. And the Best way to save it is to update the building or use it in other functions that will create new revenues. 


To create new revenues, update the Structure without damaging its total architectural Identity. 


Create additional floors above it but make sure that the structure will not overshadow the identity of the Building and instead enhance it. And instead of additional floors for hotel rooms, convert the function into residential. 

To maximize profit, introduce Studio unit apartments on each floors, since Makati has a great demand for housing due to the great population of working individuals which happens to be single professionals who have no choice but to reside outside the city due to the lack of housing opportunities within the city. 

Lastly, use lighter materials to lessen the stress load of the new structure to the existing structure: Use METSA WOOD KERTO LVL components.​


City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs