Last Updated: March 29th, 2019
Carlos Arguelles, one of the most celebrated Filipino architects of his generation is behind the design of some of the country’s Post-war architecture–this includes the Philamlife Building in Manila, Manila Hilton (now Manila Pavilion Hotel), and the International Rice Research Institute Building in Los Baños, among others. With the size of his private practice, Arguelles worked with some of the country’s leading architects and engineers–from the likes of EL Mariano, Ramon Orlina, Jose Silvestre, Meloy Casas, Vic Medel, and Danny Silvestre.
Born on September 15, 1922, in Manila, Carlos Arguelles was the fifth son of Carmen Benedicta Corcuera and Tomas Arguelles, a prominent pre-war architect. Following his father’s passion for architecture, he would later study at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and earn his degree in Architecture 1939.
Arguelles’ plans for further studies in the United States was derailed, when, in 1939, he decided to serve in the Philippine Army as a reserve officer. After his stint in the Philippine Army, he went on to study at the prestigious Massachussetts Institute of Technology and finish his degree in Architecture in 1941. At the end of the Second World War, he was able to continue his postgraduate studies at MIT and finally graduated in 1946.
In his return to the Philippines, Arguelles worked as an associate of Gines Rivera, the man behind the masterplan of the Ateneo de Manila University, and worked as a professor in UST. He was later appointed as Dean of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts from 1954 to 1959 before he decided to concentrate in his private practice.
Known for his distinct International style, he became one of the leading architects in the country in the 50s and 60s. Typical characteristics seen in the design of his buildings include plane surfaces devoid of ornamentation, rectilinear forms with open and fluid interior spaces.
In Makati, several Arguelles-designed structures continue to stand to this day. This includes the:
1. Development Bank of the Philippines Building
2. VGP Center (formerly the Manila Bank Building)
3. PSBank Tower (formerly the Solid Bank Building)
The Manila Project
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- National Commission for Culture and the Arts
- University of Santo Tomas
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