The Philippine Arena Owned by Iglesia Ni Cristo

One Sunday afternoon, my friends and I went to Bagac, Bataan. As we pass by the Bulacan area, we saw a gigantic construction undergoing on the right side of the highway. Questions immediately thrown by and we’re really anxious to know what that is.

I rush to get a laptop to try to research about that gigantic construction. We have found out that it is The Philippine Arena owned by The Iglesia Ni Cristo.

According to Wiki, The Philippine Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena being constructed at Ciudad de Victoria, a 75-hectare tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines. With a capacity of up to 50,000, it will be the largest indoor domed-arena in the Philippines. It is the centerpiece of the many centennial projects of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for their grand celebration on July 27, 2014. The legal owner of the arena is the INC's educational institution, New Era University.

Motivated from Narra tree, the mother tree of the Philippines and the root of Banyan tree is the initial design concept of the Philippine arena.

Populous, a Kansas City-based global mega-architecture firm, designed the arena through their firm in Brisbane, Australia. The arena has been master planned to enable at least 50,000 people to gather inside the building and a further 50,000 to gather at a ‘live site’ or plaza outside to share in major events. The arena is a one-sided bowl. The lower bowl will be the most frequently used part of the building and the architectural design allows for easy separation of the lower bowl from the upper tier, by curtaining with acoustic and thermal properties.

The arena will be built on 99,200 square meters of land and will have a dome of 36,000 square meters. The roof will span some 160 meters or only 50 meters smaller in diameter than the Superdome in Louisiana from the United States, and will contain 9,000 tons of steel which will come from Korea. It will be assembled at the site and will be erected up to its final position 62 meters in height, or about fifteen stories high. The building will be safely founded on pile construction. For earthquake loads, about a third of the dead load of the building was designed.

PWP Landscape Architecture, the firm who landscaped the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, designed the landscape for the arena and the whole complex of Ciudad de Victoria. For the arena, a series of outdoor plazas, gardens and performance venues form the setting for the development including: The North and South Arrival Plazas, The Promontory Plaza, The Great Stairs, and Ciudad de Victoria Plaza that are all related to each other with two cross axes (N-S and E-W) that intersect at the Promontory Plaza.

The arena will also operate as a multi-use sports and concert venue, not only hold major church gatherings, it is capable of holding a range of events from boxing and basketball to live music performances. There is clear "line of sight" for every seat from each tier, even for various arena configurations such as church ceremonies, boxing, tennis, concerts or indoor gymnastics. The overall vision of the masterplan will eventually see inclusion of shopping centers a hospital and large scale residential developments.

Well, kudos to Iglesia Ni Cristo for providing the Philippines with probably the greatest dome arena in the world. Come July, 2014, as they celebrate their centennial anniversary, this will surely be a spectacle.


1 comment:

  1. That dome was really big! I wonder how many millions of pesos and construction supplies were spent by INC in these big projects.