An Icon Reborn: 6 Things About The Insular Life Building

 

The Insular Life Building

The Insular Life Building

 

A close look at Insular Life Building's facade

A close look at the building’s facade

 

Famous for displaying the long ticker of the price of blue chip stocks, the iconic Insular Life Building finally got a much needed (major) facelift. Back in the day, this dilapidated building had elevators that didn’t function as one would expect–you had to knock at the elevator door so the operator will know that someone’s getting on. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.

After almost two years of renovation, this 14-story landmark at the crossroads of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas is finally back in business.

 

 

1. Built in 1962, the original design of Insular Life Building was done by Architect Cesar H. Concio.

Having served as the President of the Philippine Institute of Architect and the Dean of the UP College of Architecture, Cesar Homero Concio, Sr. is also considered as one of the pillars of Philippine Architecture.

Aside from the Insular Life Building in Makati, he is also behind the design of the neo-romanesque St. Hildegard Building in St. Scholastica’s College, and the famous Baclaran Church.

 

Cesar Homero Concio, Sr. (undated and uncredited photo)

Cesar Homero Concio, Sr. (undated and uncredited photo)

 

In the University of the Philippines Diliman, he designed some of the school’s most iconic landmarks including the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy’s Palma Hall and the College of Engineering’s Melchor Hall, Quezon Hall (a collaboration with Juan Nakpil), Vinzon’s Hall, and the Church of the Risen Lord.

He passed away on April 27, 2003, at the age of 95.

 

2. National Artist Napoleon Abueva installed the original bas-relief that depicted Philippine history, industry, and culture on the facade of the building. Unfortunately, it was removed and is no longer displayed in the building’s facade.

 

The original bas-relief by National Artist Napoleon Abueva (image credit: Insular Life)

The original bas-relief by National Artist Napoleon Abueva (image credit: Insular Life)

 

3. The building was set to be demolished in the fourth quarter of 2002 to make way for a 135,000 square meter office tower to be developed by Insular Life. Luckily, the planned demolition never pushed through.

 

4. Insular Life Building first underwent renovation in 2005 under the supervision of Mohri, Architect & Associates, Inc. (formerly Takenobu Mohri Architects).

 

5. In December 2015, Insular Life Building began its latest renovation under the supervision of Casas + Architects.

Headquartered in Paseo de Roxas in Makati, Casas + Architects worked on several big-ticket projects which include the One Shangri-la Place 1 & 2, St. Francis Towers 1 & 2–both located in Ortigas Center, 8 Forbestown Road, The Infinity Fort Bonifacio, and the Pacific Plaza Towers–all located in Bonifacio Global City. They are also behind the construction of several skyscrapers in Makati’s Central Business District– the LKG Tower, GT International Tower, and Shang Grand Tower.

 

The facade of Insular Life Building as seen from Valero St.

The facade of Insular Life Building as seen from Valero St.

 

6. The building now boasts its Silver LEED certification, new interior design, modern facilities, and a new retail offering. Among the building’s first tenants include Tim Hortons, BPI, Unionbank, and Magenic Manila.

 

Insular Life Building (right) as seen from Ayala Avenue

Insular Life Building (right) as seen from Ayala Avenue

 

Undated and uncredited photo of Insular Life Building

Undated and uncredited photo of Insular Life Building

 

 

– The Manila Project

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References:

  1. Business Mirror
  2. KMC Mag
  3. Insular Life
  4. Emporis
  5. The Philippine Star
  6. Malaya
  7. The Manila Bulletin
  8. Inquirer
  9. Other news articles

 

 

 

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