BPI taps Illinois-based firm for new headquarters

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has tapped Illinois-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) to do the plan for its new headquarters at the corner of Ayala and Paseo de Roxas avenues in Makati City.

BPI president and chief executive officer Cezar Consing said the redevelopment of the bank’s 40-year old headquarters would kick off in February with the tearing down of the old structure.

SOM is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Founded in 1936, it has completed more than 10,000 projects in over 50 countries. It is renowned for iconic buildings and its commitment to design excellence, innovation, and sustainability.

The Ayala Group has worked with SOM including the Ayala Triangle Gardens – North. Other projects of SOM in the Philippines include The Curve Tower, the
Arthaland Century Pacific Tower in Bonifacio Global City, and the NEX Tower.

Consing said the 20-story building would be vacated in the next two months as remaining employees are being transferred to the Insular Life Building in Makati, Vertris North and South in Quezon City, the City Gate towers along Ayala Ave., Buendia Center, and Alabang in Muntinlupa City.

He pointed out the new headquarters would have 30 to 40 floors compared to the current 20-story structure.

“You know when we built this building it was the tallest building in its time. Now it is the shortest. I don’t necessarily want us to be the tallest, nor do I want us to be the fanciest. I just want us to be solid,” Consing said.

According to Consing, the cost of the new headquarters that would take four to five years to complete is still being determined.

“The new building will take several years to build and so we will be paying for it over a stretch of time,” he said.

The head office building of the 167-year old bank located at the nexus of Ayala Ave. and Paseo de Roxas was designed by Engracio L. Mariano and was inaugurated in 1982.

BPI chief finance officer Maria Theresa Marcial Javier had said the planned redevelopment of its headquarters over the next few years would have minimal impact on the bank’s bottomline.

“It is going to be investment property construction in progress so the impact on operating expense over time is going to be very minimal,” she said.

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