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Designing a brand new, innovation-focused community in the Philippines on the site of former sugar plantation

Project Sugar

Client
Arthaland
Location
Binan, Laguna, Philippines
Size
4.5 hectares
Services
Planning and Urban Design
Additional Services
Landscape Architecture
Status
Completed 2018

Project Sugar is a new community established to sow the seeds of innovation for the fu­ture. Innovation drives the entire concept of Project Sugar from the establishment of a pedestrian oriented mixed use district to maker spaces within student residences to loft space for commercial start-ups; from energy efficient building cooling systems to integrat­ed technology to storm-water management, the design creates a platform for a new cre­ative lifestyle.

Occupying the site of a former sugar plantation the new community provides opportunities for generations of creative entrepreneurs. The design taps into the former productive na­ture of the site to develop a community that re-defines productivity for the 21st century in multiple forms to create a place with a high standard of livability and a forum for generat­ing and exchanging ideas. Developed as a highly integrated community, Project Sugar in­cludes a rich and diverse mix of uses consisting of student residences, apartments, villas, integrated sports and communal facilities and spaces for allied industry and retail.

The Student Residences form a new paradigm for Manila. A dynamic program mix en­riched with collaboration and social spaces, retail spaces, cafes and outdoor terraces, creates a thriving educational community where living blends with learning. The single, double and four bed units are distributed around a common courtyard which connects to the landscape of the larger district. Open space provides shade, amenities and space for community interaction and collaboration.

The villas are organized into a series of small communities each with their own social space with a central sports and an amenity pavilion that brings the entire villa community together. Integrated ‘garage’ like workshop and shop spaces in a number of the villas pro­vide opportunities for entrepreneurship and activation of the public realm.

The landscape design for Project Sugar will unify a new residential community through a variety of shared amenities in a contemporary landscape setting. The park will be a sus­tainable place, weaving together various best practice features to respond to the unique climate of Biñan, Laguna, such as stormwater collection, swales, stormwater gardens, shade canopies, and passive solar strategies.

The design form of the Project Sugar landscape is organic, taking inspiration from the local terrain and referencing the organic nature of the site and its agrarian past. Paths, gardens, seating, and canopies change direction and provide a unique, meandering expe­rience throughout the site. These organic forms of the landscape act as an agent to buffer and soften the geometries and scale of the buildings within the development.

The Park

Park is organized around two defining elements; the Active Arc and the Passive Arc.

The Active Arc promotes community wellness by featuring spaces for community-based agriculture, sport, recreation, fitness, events, play, swimming, and jogging. With the proper programming and maintenance, each space within the Active Arc can be a magnet for var­ious small, medium, and large community gatherings. The Active Arc connects the land­scape through a series of walkways complete with pedestrian lighting, benches, and other amenities.The Passive Arc collects and filters stormwater runoff through a series of swales and stormwater collection strategies located within a lush garden. Walking paths and seat­ing opportunities are located under the cover of canopies and guide pedestrians from the De La Salle University (DLSU) campus to the future commercial zone of the development. These canopies signal gathering places and offer shade and protection from rain.

The Active and Passive Arcs meet at the heart of The Park, where a series of terraces step down to a large open lawn. This is a flexible place for recreation and congregation for the entire community. Events, such as concerts, movies, festivals, markets, and others have a home at the Community Lawn and Community Plaza.

For more information contact Romil Sheth.

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