Palacio de Memoria wins Philippine Heritage Awards – Manila Bulletin


Honor to a well-done restoration

Entering the lobby of the Palacio is like being transported back in time, to the Roaring Twenties, when the Art Deco rooms threw dazzling parties (Photo of the Palacio de Memoria)

The Palacio de Memoria, the majestic monument along the scenic stretch of Roxas Boulevard, has been named a winner in the Adaptive Reuse category of the prestigious Philippine Heritage Awards (PHA).

The PHA is a conservation recognition program for special achievements and significant contributions, as well as services in heritage preservation and conservation efforts, in accordance with Article 37 of the National Cultural Heritage Act 2009 or Republic Law No. 10066. Prizes, awards, and citations are given by the President of the Philippines on the recommendation of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The PHA has six categories, namely adaptive reuse, conservation — built heritage, conservation — movable cultural property, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, heritage education and interpretation, and support for heritage programs. Following its first award ceremony in 2018, the PHA awarded this year three separate projects in two categories.

The Adaptive Reuse category is reserved for projects that use valuable buildings, built structures and sites for purposes other than what they were originally intended for. This award recognizes the technical integrity and efforts made to maintain the authenticity of the building or structure design in order to conserve the site.

Meanwhile, the Heritage Education and Interpretation category named three winners this year, including Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines for its project “Keeping Alive the Wisdom of The Cordillera Indigenous Peoples”, the “Kagikan Project” of the local government of Tagum, and the restored Palacio de Memoria, which arouses interest and raises awareness of Manila’s ancient culture.

The Palacio, a fully restored pre-war mansion, has been praised for its authentic European flair and unrivaled collection of antique furniture and works of art, and praised for its respect and understanding of the key decorative elements of the structure. The conservation of the mansion has been successfully conserved through a thoughtful rehabilitation process. One of its distinct features is the terrazzo floor, attributed to the national artist for architecture Juan Nakpil. The NCCA cited the business model and sustainable maintenance used in the building, while reworking the floor plans to make it compatible as auction and event venues, as the key factors that made the reallocation of the building a real success.

Inside the sacred halls of the Palacio, a myriad of works of art and antiques are on display for the discerning viewer (Photo by Palacio de Memoria)

Situated on a three-hectare property, this seven-story heritage home is both a showcase for Old World culture and lifestyle, as well as a venue for various gatherings and landmark events. The Palacio welcomes visitors who wish to visit the place and enjoy a day of arts appreciation. The Palacio, which is the highlight of the park, is home to many collections of fine art from around the world and from different eras, including paintings, rare furniture and collectibles of various shapes decorating its rooms and walls. It is home to impressive ballrooms, dining rooms and reception halls, including the famous Los Tamaraos Ballroom attributed to Juan Luna, and features original neoclassical arches and columns, as well as a marble floor. Art Deco terrazzo depicting Filipino folk scenes. The Ambassador’s dining room on the ground floor, the Villaroman reception room on the second and the Bunker bar on the sixth are rented out for themed and intimate meetings.

The third and fourth floors of this heritage house are a treasure trove of artifacts from around the world. Inside the complex, visitors will find the Mosphil Lounge, a disused aircraft that has been redeveloped into a vintage mid-century jazz lounge. There’s also the Palacio de Memoria Museum, a well-curated capsule exhibit of historic Catholic paintings, icons, and artifacts, which offers insight into Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Outside, visitors will marvel at the spacious, landscaped gardens known as El Jardin de la Fuente and El Jardin de Dewey, both open to events.

The Palacio de Memoria has been restored and reinvigorated with timeless pieces that appeal to all collectors (Photo by Palacio de Memoria)

The Palacio de Memoria is expected to host two more events in December, including an outdoor picnic hosted by the Galleria de Gunita and Pasko sa Palacio.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the Palacio de Memoria, a splendid location in the midst of urban must-sees, inquire and book a visit by visiting its website. Follow Palacio de Memoria on the Facebook and Instagram pages to see the latest updated calendar of activities.


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