Last Updated: December 1st, 2017
Built in 1979 at a height of 76.31 meters, the Bank of America Tower/ Lepanto Building located along Paseo de Roxas was designed by renowned Filipino architect Gabriel Formoso.
Born on April 9, 1915, Gabriel P. Formoso was one of the most successful Filipino architects of his generation. Having finished high school from Ateneo de Manila in 1933, he eventually obtained his degree in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila (1937).
After becoming a registered architect in 1939, he went on to design some of the country’s first skyscrapers. This includes some of the oldest buildings in Makati–the Pacific Star Building in Makati Avenue, Dusit Thani Manila (formerly the Manila Garden Hotel/Hotel Nikko), The Peninsula Manila along Ayala Avenue, and the Asian Institute of Management Building along Paseo de Roxas. He was also the brains behind the design of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, and the Metropolitan Museum, both located on Roxas Boulevard.
Having toured Europe, USA, South America from 1952 to 1988, he observed the trends in architecture particularly in banks, hotel, and condominium design.
Owing to this, the design of 20-story Lepanto Building is a perfect example of International Style of modernist architecture. Emerging in Holland, France, and Germany after World War I, International Style became the dominant architectural style from the 20s until the 70s. Typical characteristics of International Style buildings include a visible steel frame, large panes of glass, flat roof, and is devoid of any type of ornamentation.
Well-known examples of buildings that apply International Style of architectural design include the Seagram Building in New York, Place de Ville in Ottawa, 1 Treasury Place in Melbourne, Elm Place in Dallas, 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York, BMA Tower in Kansas City, and the Telus Tower in Montreal, among others.
Today, this four-decade-old (approximately) structure still stands as a witness to Makati’s rise from what was once an idle grassland into the country’s premier financial district.
**This post has been updated to correct the year Formoso graduated from Ateneo de Manila. The article originally stated 1993 instead of 1933. Special thanks to Kevin for pointing it out.**
– The Manila Project
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram