Sa Ganda ng Rockwell, Gusto ko na sya!

Carlos Ott is a Uruguayan architect who resides in Canada. He became famous when he won the first prize in 1983 for the construction of the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris, which was inaugurated on July 14, 1989.

MANILA, Philippines — More than anything, Rockwell Land Corp. (Rockwell) has always been about bold ambition. From its game-changing beginning in 1995—simultaneously developing five high-rise luxury condominiums at a time when the rest of the industry shied away from taking risks—to its growing portfolio of artfully master-planned pocket developments, the Lopez-owned company has created quite the niche for itself in the real estate industry.

With both office and residential property values rising in the Philippines despite the global financial crisis, 2012 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the company. In a press conference held recently at One Rockwell, Rockwell VP for Sales and Marketing Val Soliven announced that the company was collaborating with one of today’s globally renowned architects, Carlos Ott, in a “Greater Rockwell” expansive development.

Indeed, Carlos Ott’s artistic touch and global perspective adding on to Rockwell’s portfolio would further elevate the company’s position in the real estate industry. Ott, whose ascent to fame began in 1983 with his first prize win for the design of the L’Opera Bastille in Paris, France, has an impressive portfolio of over 80 distinguished landmarks around the world, the most notable of which is the iconic 7-star luxury hotel, Burj al-Arab, whose relatively short tenure on the Dubai coastline has since attracted international attention and awe, ensuring its place as one of the most photographed structures in the world.

A Greater Rockwell

In a recent meet-and-greet with the local press, Ott expressed his excitement over working in the Philippines for the first time. “I’m amazed by the amount of construction going on,” he shares. “I think that the Philippines has never experienced so much activity as the last five years, and we are just starting so this is in crescendo. As time passes, there will be more activities, more buildings,” he adds.

The fact that there is currently more construction in the Philippines than all of the United States is amazing enough, says Ott. “Who would have said that 20 years ago, but that’s the case,” he shares, adding that his work overseas has seen him witness the explosive growth of Dubai in the Middle East and Sau Paulo in Brazil, “countries that are like the Philippines,” he points out. He says, “Manila today is the Dubai of 15, 20 years ago. Manila will mushroom, is mushrooming.”

As an architect and designer, Ott is known for his iconic and sculptural designs, and this is what he will be bringing into his collaboration with Rockwell in the development of the Colgate-Palmolive compound along Estrella and Camia Streets. “I suppose that when Rockwell hired me, they have to bite the bullet and know that they may end up with a funny-looking building, because if they expect a shoebox building from me, they will be disappointed,” he jokes.

Taking on a more serious tone, however, Ott shares that the buildings in the mixed-use development will definitely be built using sustainable practices. The architect’s designs may vary in its lavishness, but the common denominator among his buildings has always been in urban planning. “Every project I design must always be carefully master-planned,” he says. “When you do a building, it’s not just about what you want. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the user, and there are many users—there’s the guy who bought the unit, the neighbor who looks at it, the guy who rides by who sees your building everyday on his way to work, and the tourist who comes once in his life, whom you want to take a photograph of your building to remember his trip by. All these people are also users of the building and you have to consider all that,” Ott asserts.




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