“When this building is finished, it will be one of the best I’ve ever designed,” renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, designer of the Jewish Berlin Museum, proclaimed on his latest collaboration, Century Properties’ Century Spire.

Libeskind was in town last Wednesday to attend the unveiling of the 60-story, mixed-use tower dubbed the “Century Spire” at the Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati.

The Spire boasts of its tower shaft that rises from the streets and subtly divides into three different heights, forming a “crown.”

The high-rise luxury condo will be the last among the eight towers that will rise at Century City, Makati. It will be the first building the Polish-American architect will design and shall be the first in the country to be fully-furnished by Armani/Casa.

Century Properties, Inc. is headed by Ambassador Jose E.B. Antonio as its CEO and his son, Jose Roberto “Robbie” Antonio, the EVP for sales and development. The developer is known for luxury property projects, one of them the Trump Tower.

Another Century designer building is also in the works with the Milano Residences being outfitted this time by fashion royalty, Versace. Something similar to Century City will soon rise in Commonwealth, Quezon City.

Its other projects include the Azure Urban residences in Bicutan which has a tie-up with hotel heiress Paris Hilton, Knightsbridge Residences, and Gramercy Residences, which are both adjacent to the Century City Mall.

Adding to the designer features of Century Spire is the touch of Armani/Casa.

“If the architect’s aim is to create remarkable spaces, then it is my aim to bring these to life through my interior-design aesthetic. I am very pleased to be partnering Armani/Casa with the Century Spire project, and believe that the combination of Daniel Libeskind’s vision and my own will result in a truly remarkable place to live, full of elegance and wonder,” Giorgio Armani, president and CEO of the Armani group, conveyed in a message he sent to the developers.

The floor layout designed for the Spire is angular due to the interlocking feature of its crown. The room designs feature “hidden” amenities (refrigerator, kitchen stove, etc.) to reduce clutter.

Model units are showcased at the Pacific Star Building. The project presents the following living spaces: the suite or studio type, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom.

The studio unit offers 25-50 sqm space, the one-bedroom unit from 50-100 sqm; and the two-bedroom from 100-200 sqm. Regular units are priced at P250,000-P280,000 per square meter while penthouses are from P300,000-400,000 per square meter.

The rooms will have refrigerators, kitchen stoves, sinks, and showers will be provided by Gagano and Foster with an option to avail of the Armani treatment. The Armani units will be completely outfitted with signature Armani, from hand-painted walls to mattresses to beddings. The three-bedroom and four-bedroom unit will have a walk-in closet also from Armani/Casa.

The partnership of Daniel Libeskind, Armani/Casa, and Century Properties has been viewed as a bold move, but Ambassador Antonio explained: “Everybody asked us why the Philippines. It would’ve been better in Hong Kong they said. But I said, no, the Philippines is the tiger of Asia, so we brought Century Spire here,” he said.

“The Spire is unique because of the drama – the verticality, the crown – they give off a spatial sense of Manila’s creativity,” Libeskind said. “This will bring a whole new perspective to architecture in the Philippines, to the world,” he added, speaking to the architecture students present in the event.

Libeskind is known for designing the Jewish Berlin Museum which inspired Ambassador Antonio to pursue the architect for his services.

“It was something to enter a Libeskind building. He’s one of the greatest architects in the world. And we want buyers to be proud that they live in Century Spire,” he said.

The Spire is clad in a reflective glass curtain wall, mixed with balconies and terraces that create a geometric pattern on the fa´┐Żade. The tower will be a mix of office spaces near the ground while the upper floors will be comprised of residential units.

Some amenities like the library, juice bar, and swimming pool were designed by Armani/Casa. On the side, Ambassador Antonio joked that he’s now saving up for Armani furniture just like when he saved for Armani jeans and suits as a young man.

The event held at Century City Mall was dominated by a sense of awe for the design philosophy of Libeskind.

“You have to appreciate the culture the site is in before you design the building. Make it communicate. Architecture is a dynamic art. We are living in the renaissance of architecture. The definition of architecture is to tell the story that is not visible. And don’t be afraid to take risks,” he said.

“We have to be bold,” Libeskind urged.

The launching and unveiling of the Century Spire hosted a forum where Libeskind shared his design philosophy with architecture students and practitioners.

Even before the launch, 60 percent of the Spire’s units have been sold, according to Robbie Antonio. He also announced that unit turnovers would start between September to October 2018, the expected date of the developers for the tower to be fully constructed.

Source: Manila Bulletin | June 4, 2014