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PALAFOX’S masterplan is to rebuild the Philippines through his projects. Photo by Charles E. Buban




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Changing urban areas for the better

By Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:46:00 10/17/2008

Filed Under: Real Estate, Construction & Property

MANILA, Philippines?A 38-kilometer waterfront development in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, the upcoming $1 billion (P48 billion) logistics and service hub project inside Clark Freeport Zone, the planned redevelopment of Pasig River waterways and riverbanks, high-rise residential developments rising along the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, and urban landscaping of Butuan City.

These are just some of the projects that made Felino Palafox Jr. well known throughout the world and one of today?s most sought-after architect urban planner and architect.

As founder, principal architect and urban planner as well as managing partner of Palafox Associates, his projects?wherever they are located?are fast changing the urban landscape for the better.

Livable

?In the face of rapid urbanization and consequent deterioration of environment and biodiversity, better housing or building design as well as sustainable urban planning is part of the solution for making urban areas and communities more liveable,? Palafox explained.

To better serve his clients around here and around the world, he recently moved in to a new headquarters located at the 11th floor of 6782 building (Ayala Avenue corner VA Rufino Street right across Rufino Building).

?Our new office best represents our goal and mission of making urban areas and other communities more livable, walkable, safe and secure,? he said.

He added that while the building itself is no longer new, they were able to equip their office with 21st century technologies and designs that maximize every part of this 600-sq-m floor space.

?With projects in 32 countries, we need to to be in constant communication with our clients, quick to respond and be able to convey our opinion on any queries or concerns they may raise,? Palafox said.

Today, 19 years after his firm was established, Palafox and Associates is now considered the leading architectural firm in the country and among the top architectural companies in Southeast Asia.

His company is also the only Filipino and the only Southeast Asian architectural firm to first make it into the list of the world?s top 200 architectural companies compiled by the London-based World Architecture magazine.

Dubai stint

Palafox?s stint in Dubai in the ?80s where he became the youngest?and only Filipino?team leader (that helped transform this predominantly desert country into today?s bustling center of excellence, that boasts world-class business and leisure facilities) inspired him to do the same to the Philippines.

?For this country to become like other progressive cities of the world, our leaders must be reeducated about the need for a ?well-master-planned society.? A number of local leaders are now realizing this,? Palafox reported.

This so-called ?urban renewal? concepts are presented to local government leaders through a unique approach dubbed as ?Postcards from the Future.?

?Instead of a concept paper, my firm presents them with perspectives in postcard form that show what can be done to areas that need to be rehabilitated and redeveloped immediately,? he explained.

The Pasig River redevelopment plan is one of these postcards that shows a rehabilitated river that features a transportation and pedestrian system.



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