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[B-SIDE PODCAST] Rehabilitating the Cultural Center of the Philippines

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Designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will be rehabilitated after 53 years. Opened on Sept. 8, 1969, the CCP, a brainchild of former first lady Imelda Marcos, in its first year mounted 195 performances, 35 of which were foreign. Long due for an overhaul, the brutalist building will embark on a rehabilitation that is expected to run for three years, beginning 2023.   

In this episode of B-Side, Department Manager Administrative Services Teresa “Tess” S. Rances tells BusinessWorld reporter Michelle Anne P. Soliman, about the P950 million project.  

TAKEAWAYS

It’s possible to preserve the cultural value of a building while improving its technology.  

The project includes the renovation of the hydraulic pit, the freight elevators, and the light and sound systems for the theaters. Electricals and plumbing will likewise be updated. 

CCP management tapped Leandro V. Locsin Partners as a consultant to protect the legacy of the building’s designer, Leandro V. Locsin.  

The interiors of the building will hew close to the original design with the Locsin firm having a say in the approval process.  

“We have been discussing that this is what we envision to happen: that we will be able to maintain that vision of our National Artist for Architecture,” Ms. Rances said. “My expectation is that people will be very excited to come and see performances at the CCP … as we open the CCP in 2025.” 

The CCP is ‘decentralizing,’ so to speak.  

Since the main building needs to be vacated, CCP is partnering with venues such as the Manila Metropolitan Theater, which is run by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the new Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati. 

“The good side of the Main Building closing down … is that it forges more interrelationship with other theater owners,” said Ms. Rances, who added that the CCP’s regional programs will also be strengthened.

Recorded remotely on Oct. 21. Produced by Earl Lagundino and Sam L. Marcelo.

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