U.P. Diliman Quezon Hall

Topics: Quezon City, University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines Pages: 5 (634 words) Published: February 18, 2007
Arch 16 TDE-A

Salsalida, Laurence Marco P.

Prof. E.U.Ozaeta

Quezon Hall: The Pride of the University

Everyday, commuters and motorists who enter U.P. through the University

and Commonwealth Avenues hardly fail to notice the towering building that

signifies a very honorable welcome. The famous Quezon Hall, being a synthesis

of classical and modern architecture, is the most visible and recognizable

structure of U.P. Diliman (Canete et. al. 17). Also known as the Administration

Building, it was named after the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth,

Manuel L. Quezon. The Quezon Hall represents one of the U.P. Diliman

campus' impressive arrays of tall, imposing edifices designed along

modernistic and functional lines (U.P.D. campus 5). As architecture students, we

should try and find out the relationship of context and architecture in studying

such a marvelous masterpiece.

Quezon Hall is located in the gateway of the 493-hectare U.P. Diliman

Campus. The tropical climate and the rich fertile soil allow trees to flourish best in

the area. The climate is stinking hot during dry seasons and relatively cold during

rainy seasons. The vast landscape allows many possibilities for architectural

design. Since the campus was rebuilt during the rise of modern architecture, the

forms of the buildings were much more influenced by expressionism and

symbolism rather than native traditions.

The grandeur of the Quezon Hall is best reflected by its noticeable

colonnaded open portico, or peristyle (Canete et. al. 17). The open portico, fluted

columns, tiled roof, paired columns on the Observatory Deck, and relief details

on its corners point to its classical origins, while its use of floor-mounted

floodlights, a curvilinear cantilevered walkway, geometric grillwork and a

simplified entablature frame points forward to a more modern persuasion

(Canete et. al. 18). Yet, it was a fact that Quezon Hall's architect, Juan Nakpil

based the peristyle concept from Finnish-born American architect Eliel

Saarinen's Main Hall. However, he made it genuine and unique by duplicating

the building's strategic location at the terminus of the University Avenue,

horizontally orienting the volumetric arrangements punctured by a classic grand

peristyle at the center, and utilizing landscape elements such as reflecting pool

and Oblation as counterpoint (Lico vol. 5).

The use of light colors, large windows, raised floor, opaque waterproof red

brick-tiled roof and the open portico clearly suggests that the architect didn't deny

climatic factors. The light colors: white, pink, and peach were used to reflect the

sun's rays. Large windows and the open portico enhance ventilation. The opaque

and waterproof red brick-tiled roof protects the structure from rainfall and the heat

and glare of the sun. Maximum shade was guaranteed by the horizontally

oriented "volumetric arrangements". In short, the form required in the given

context was satisfactorily accomplished.

Based from my own experience and from what was discussed in class, I

therefore conclude that the basic requirements in designing context-based

Filipino style buildings are: light colored exterior, characteristically large windows,

opaque, waterproof and overhanging roofs, raised floors, porch – anything that

would maximize shade and ventilation. Whether we like it or not, context plays a

major role in architecture. It goes to say that structures must always be built to fit

its environment and its inhabitants of course. Other factors that could also affect

architecture include availability of materials, technology, socio-cultural factors,

economics, politics etc. If architects must find solutions to deal with these

different kinds of problems, then architecture is a very tough and challenging

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