Pedestrian-friendly urban space complemented with public art » Manila Bulletin Newsbit

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At Aseana City

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Envisioned to be a pedestrian-friendly urban space, Aseana City has kicked off a public art program that aspires to turn daily strolls in the business district along Roxas Boulevard into an aesthetic, uplifting experience.

Inspired by a global movement to recreate urban spaces, DM Wenceslao &Associates Inc., developer of Aseana City, has unveiled a plan to incorporate art in public places beginning with a 1,900 square feet mural wall between what will be a prominent pedestrian corridor between Aseana One office building and Red Planet Hotel.

Visual artist Kris Abrigo paints a 1,900 square feet mural depicting the growth that has transpired in Aseana City.

The walkway is likely to be traversed by commuters alighting from the future Aseana City LRT 1 station to be completed in 2021 and heading for the southern part of the business district.

“We’ve learned from the experiences of Metro Manila’s older business districts and been inspired by architects and planners who have been advocating for cities that promote ‘life between buildings’ to quote a well-known advocate,” according to Aseana City managing director Buds Wenceslao.

“Our goal is to get people out of their cars and walking in the streets. This will be good, not only for the pedestrians’ health, but also good for the city’straffic circulation, the environment and even the social life of the city.”

He added that the pedestrianization objective will soon be complemented by infrastructure like arcades and sky bridges now being incorporated into the overall masterplan.

The mural by visual artist Kris Abrigo, who has exhibited locally and abroad, is intended also to create a distinct identify for Aseana City and “a sense of place,” according to architect Anthony Ilaga.

It depicts a school of fish, patterned after indigenous fish that once populated Manila Bay – swimming towards the same direction in a maze of mangroves, depicted by the existing patterns on the wall.

Two large fish dominate the mural art with one showing an image of the sunset that Manila Bay is best known for, and the other, Abrigo’s artistic interpretation of what he calls the “abstraction of the fish.”

The rest of the public art program outlines three to five massive mural walls waiting to be painted in different Aseana City locations. Moreover, large-scale sculptures, community artworks and significant pylons will also be unveiled in the coming years to allow pedestrians significant art encounters.

The program is a celebration of the city’s urban development which began with the reclamation of the area from the sea more than two decades ago. It is also illustrates substantial growth in the Bay Area now considered a prime location and one of the last showcases for forward-looking urban planning in the congested megalopolis.

This early, the masterplanned community which still has around 70 percent of its area free from structures, is home to office buildings, international schools , restaurants, residential condominiums and soon to open, massive shopping and retail complex. It is a short drive via Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard to the three international airports via the NAIA Expressway.

In addition, it will be one of the main gateways to residential enclaves of Cavite with the completion of LRT 1 extension in 2021 and of the Southwest Integrated Transport System.

Abrigo sees the potential of Aseana City and says the mural wall, a playful mix of vivid colors and geometric shapes, “is a complex representation of the Aseana community moving forward to the future with respect to its past ecosystem.”

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