Unveiling the History and Facts about The Batasang Pambansa Complex
The Batasang Pambansa Complex is a government complex located in Quezon City, Philippines. It serves as the headquarters of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. The complex is an iconic landmark that has played a significant role in the history of the country.
The complex was built in 1978 under the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos and designed by notable architect Felipe Mendoza. It was originally called the Batasan Hills National Government Center and was constructed to be the new seat of the Philippine government when Manila was deemed too crowded.
The complex consists of several buildings, including the main Batasang Pambansa Building, the North and South Wing Buildings, and the Constitution Hill. The main building is a dome-shaped structure that houses the plenary hall and other offices of the House of Representatives.
(By patrickroque001 - Taken using my own camera, CC BY-SA 4.0)
The complex has witnessed several significant events in Philippine history, such as the ratification of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the impeachment trial of former President Joseph Estrada. The Batasang Pambansa complex also served as a venue for important national events, including the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1981.
Aside from its historical significance, the Batasang Pambansa Complex is also an architectural marvel, with its unique design and modernist features. The complex's well-manicured grounds are adorned with sculptures and artworks that reflect the country's cultural heritage and serve as a tribute to notable Filipinos.
Additional Facts about The Batasang Pambansa Complex
1.Three architects worked on its design
The master plans were originally drawn up by architect Federico Ilustre in 1956, but Anselmo Alquinto created a new master plan to replace it in response to popular demand. When funding ran out, the building's construction was abandoned in the early 1960s and it was demolished. A building to house a single legislative body was required when the 1973 constitution, drafted under then-president Ferdinand Marcos, replaced the bicameral congress with a unicameral parliament known as the Batasang Pambansa. Felipe Mendoza, an architect, was commissioned by Marcos to create the current Batasang Pambansa and its entire complex.
2.Using distinctly Filipino elements, the Batasang Pambansa was designed in the classic Brutalist style.
Throughout the 1950s and 1970s, a design movement known as brutalism—which literally translates to "raw concrete"—produced large, linear structures with lots of exposed concrete. The Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Heart Center on Quezon Avenue are two additional examples of this popular architectural style for government and institutional buildings in the area.
Architect Mendoza, who also designed the University of the Philippines-Los Baños library and the Sandiganbayan, gave the Batasan a uniquely Filipino flair with its steeply pitched Bahay Kubo-style roof.
3.Its interiors exude grandeur and power.
The interior of a brutalist building is typically expansive and roomy, and the Batasang Pambansa is no different. The SONA is held in a large session hall with rows of representatives' seats facing a central podium that features two veneered panels on either side of a massive Philippine flag.
The hall features a tall, striking soffit ceiling with several recessed lights in the middle that replicate sunlight coming in through a skylight.
The Batasang Pambansa Complex is open to visitors who want to learn more about the history and significance of the complex. Guided tours are available, where visitors can explore the plenary hall, the gallery, and other parts of the complex.
In conclusion, the Batasang Pambansa Complex is a significant landmark in Philippine history and serves as an important symbol of the country's democracy and governance. Its unique design and modernist features, coupled with its historical significance, make it a must-visit for anyone interested in Philippine history and architecture.
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