Arkitektura: An Essay on Philippine Architecture

General Information
ID No.: 


Subject Covered: 

Philippine Dwellings, Churches, Mosques and Public Buildings

Areas Covered: 


Period Covered: 

Pre-Hispanic to Post-World War II

Bibliographic Details

Perez, Rodrigo D., III

Year Published: 
Book Title: 

Arkitektura: An Essay on Philippine Architecture


Manila/ Cultural Center of the Philippines

Page Total: 
Illustration Total: 

48 photos 3 illustrations

Library Reference: 

The monograph is a good introduction to Philippine architecture. It gives detailed descriptions of the different architectural styles of Philippine buildings. It also discusses the ways in which context affects the forms and characteristics of architecture. It contains clear photographs of various buildings.


Philippine history and culture are reflected in the forms and characteristics of Philippine architecture, which in turn, is affected by the setting, climate, and available materials. The monograph begins by describing the Philippine geographic setting – the archipelago, its terrain and climate. Early Shelters and Houses The first section surveys the different kinds of early shelters in the archipelago – caves in Rizal and Palawan, lean-to of Aeta hunters, tree houses in Northern Luzon and in Mindanao, fale, torongan and mosques, among others. It describes the structures' style, designs and the materials used and relates them to the climate of the area and culture of the people. Spanish Colonial Period The section begins with a brief historical background, from the establishment of the first Spanish settlement up to the establishment of Manila as the capital city. It describes pueblos, highlighting the church and the bahay-na-bato. While these two buildings were influenced by their Spaniard designers, they retained certain pre-Hispanic traditional features. American Colonial Period The section relates architecture to the social conditions of the period. The first generation of Filipino architects, educated in the West, integrated Western styles (e.g., Neoclassical, Renaissance) to traditional Filipino motifs. The second generation, with the impending Independence and developing economy, broke away from tradition and introduced a new style. Philippine Architecture at the End of World War II The section describes Manila's rise from the rubbles after the War – the reconstruction of government offices, the renewed appreciation for traditional style, the low-cost urban housing, and the maturity of Philippine architecture. Prospects for Filipino Architecture The last section challenges young architects to retain the uniqueness of a Filipino identity, while considering the various developments in technology and the demands of an ever-growing population.

Summary Methodology: 

Analysis of secondary data