Mabalacat is a linear city along the road leading to Manila. Currently, the city lacks communal public spaces such as parks. As an alternative, the general public tend to spend time in large malls, which, by design, are intended for large masses and do not foster a sense of community. The project objective is to provide a shared public space for the community that provides refuge from the tropical climate and serves as a gathering point for all generations. The space will be designed to facilitate group activities that will foster and enhance the community spirit.


An old Aiport from the US army, currently converted to a commercial airport, splits the city in two. On the left is the new city composed of hotels and residencies for expatriates, and on the right is the old city, the part where all locals live. The old city develops along the road to Manila, where all the main facilities are. The city lacks public spaces or parks; the only options for the citizens to hang out are malls, hypermarkets, and churches.

Mabalacat Plan Analysis

Site Context


The proposed concept design is to create a loop structure with a central garden that provides refuge from the tropical climate. The program and its best orientation will define the building footprint.
The courtyard is protected from the heat by lush vegetation, and it
works as a passive cooling system for the pavilion interior.

Concept Design

To find the best building orientation, I analyze the annual solar radiation received by the massing using Ladybug and Galapagos. The result is not surprising; the best option is to place the Main hall, the most significant mass, partially blocking the sun from the South-West.

Annual solar radiation

For the structural analysis and optimization, I started analyzing the diamond grid structure in Karamba using two different wind cases and the component cross-section optimization. As the first step of optimization, I change the grid to triangular, and as shown in the values below, the structural performance improves significantly. Then I reduced the sizes of the openings as much as the design allowed it to reduce the maximum stresses. Last, I used the Biomorpher solver to find the minimum displacement and mass by adjusting the grid density.

Structural Optimization

The roof is inspired by the snake scale. The intent is to design breathable skin through the scale’s opening to allow natural ventilation.


Ground Floor Plan
Aerial View
Foodcourt View
Main Hall View