Friday, 1 May 2009

St. La Salle building in global best list book

St. La La Salle Hall Front
St. La La Salle Hall Facade

The centerpiece of De La Salle University along Taft Avenue in Manila has achieved what no other architectural structure in the Philippines has done ever before.

St. La Salle Building is the one and only entry from the Philippines in the book “1001 Buildings You Must See See Before You Die: The World’s Architectural Masterpieces.”

The book authored by Mark Irving and published by Quintessence Books is a careful selection of 1001 wonders of architecture that spans traditions throughout the world, from adobe pueblos to the latest Pritzker Prize winners.

St. La Salle is a neoclassical building that was built from 1920 to 1924 as the new campus of De La Salle College. It was built due to the lack of space of the original campus in Paco, Manila and need of the college of a larger campus to accommodate its increasing student population. A competition to design the building was won by renowned architect, Tomas Mapua.

St. La La Salle Hall Rear
St. La La Salle Hall Rear

It was once used as the grade school and high school building back when the college was still offering those levels. It has a chapel occupying the second and third levels of the south wing of the building. Originally built as a three-storey structure, a fourth level was added in the 1990s for the Open House of the De La Salle Brothers. The building is occupied by the College of Business and Economics.

The structure was severely damaged during the Allied liberation of Manila in World War II in the Philippines. Numerous civilians took refuge in the building thinking that its thick concrete walls would protect them from anything but a direct hit. On February 12, 1945, sixteen Brothers and several other civilians were massacred by drunken Japanese troops inside the school chapel at the second floor. Restoration of the building after the war took two years and cost 246,883 pesos.

1001 Buildings Book cover

“1001 Buildings You Must See See Before You Die: The World’s Architectural Masterpieces,” is a one-stop guide to the worlds greatest architectural achievements, and a comprehensive collection and accessible reference for anyone interested in the history of architecture.

The structures in the publication could as varied as the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley; Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome; the Berlin Reichstag by Sir Norman Foster; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles by Frank Gehry; and the Yale Art Gallery by Louis Kahn.

Photos by Mithril Cloud via Wikipedia.


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