BAGUIO CITY – The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) expressed its willingness to extend technical assistance to the local government for the Baguio Convention Center architecture design contest to help reserve and historical value of the city-owned premier convention facility.
NCCA arts section head Ferdinand Isleta commended the local government for coming out with the idea of having the convention center design contest to attract design enthusiasts to participate in formulating a design that can be used for the development and upgrading of the facility.
While the possible financial assistance that could be extended by the NCCA to the local government for the architecture design contest is already too late, Isleta said the national committee on architecture can provide the local government with technical assistance to achieve its objective of preserving and protecting the original design and historical value of the convention center.
On her part, Dr. Priscilla Macansantos, a member of the NCCA committee on literary arts, said Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon was a previous member of the committee on architecture, thus, she will be able to get the sufficient support from her former colleagues to realize the overall objective of the convention center design contest.
According to her, the NCCA will be providing its technical assistance once the local government requests the Commission for assistance to come out with the best design that could be used for the development and upgrading of the city-owned facility.
Yaranon said the convention center has deteriorated over the years and it is a low-performing and low-income generating property of the city, thus, the need to rehabilitate and upgrade the facility and its surrounding grounds.
Among the objectives of the design contest which has a prize of P1 million for the winning design include designing a modern convention center that conveys the historical and architectural significance of the site and former structure; proposing the maximum use of renewable energies in the building and site design; providing design best practices for ecologically feasible and resilient building and site development; integrating value engineering in the design and proposed construction method and promoting public involvement in the selection process.
Pending before the local legislative body is an ordinance appropriating the amount of P2.3 million from the city’s non-office allocations for the prizes and other administrative costs related to the architecture design contest.
City Building and Architecture Office officials admitted that its pool of experts could not handle the said magnitude of designing such a structure because of the preparation of designs for numerous other projects in the city.
The convention center design contest will be a one-year project to entice design enthusiasts to share their ideas and knowledge on how to improve the facility without sacrificing its original design and historical value.
By Dexter A. See