Foster + Partners Takes Design Into the Future with The Estate Makati

Award-winning British architectural firm fuses technology and high quality materials in their first development in Manila.
Partner Feature | Sep 20 2019

In the 21stcentury, technology’s integration into our lives is nothing out of the ordinary. Every step we take has some sort of modern touch to it and it is these advancements which have led to changing city skylines. One such pioneer of modern architecture is British-born Norman Foster who has been transforming landscapes for more than half a century. With work which can be found in almost every continent in the world, he has developed a reputation not only for being one of the most prolific architects of his generation, but also for incorporating high-tech and green practices in his designs.

With his company Foster + Partners, which he founded in 1967, he and his team have worked on hundreds of projects all over the world, including the Hong Kong International Airport, the HSBC Headquarters in Hong Kong, and the Apple Headquarters in Silicon Valley.

A firm advocate of the need for the industry to evolve, Foster believes technology should be utilized and maximized to serve the people who will eventually inhabit a space. Even as he incorporates technology, he never loses the original environment surrounding his design, frequently making use of natural light and ventilation, and even finding ways to incorporate renewable energy. “Many of the green ideas we explored in early projects are only now becoming a reality because of the new technologies at our disposal,” he says.

SMDC and Federal Land, two of the biggest real estate developers in the country, are collaborating with the world-renowned design firm to build its first project in the Philippines located along Ayala Avenue called The Estate Makati. The landmark structure, which will boast new and pioneering technologies seen in any high rise residential development, is set to become the latest jewel in the Makati skyline.

As with every Foster + Partners project, the design team studied the topography surrounding Ayala Avenue, carefully taking note of considerations like where the wind blows and natural light falls in designing the interior and exterior of the building.

Each “lot in the sky”, whether it’s the two-bedroom, three-bedroom or super penthouse, is column-free and makes use of double slab technology, which will allow residents to customize the layout of their homes according to their personal preference. “There is not a single column in the units,” says Roland Schnizer, Partner, Foster+Partners who further explained the structural integrity of the building comes by way of cantilevered beams, “So you wouldn’t have columns that would in the future interfere with or interrupt your flexible layout, allowing the resident to design and furnish it any way you want. The only limitation is your imagination.”

Keeping privacy in mind, no two units will directly face each other, with some offering sweeping 270-degree views of the Ayala Avenue or Urdaneta Village side. Both the common areas and bedrooms of all units will come with white natural stone and marble finishes and touches of grey for the kitchen.

Putting in mind the living ideals of its future residents, Foster + Partners conceptualized the cruciform design of the building, allowing utmost privacy and exclusivity. Double-glazed windows are also angled by 10 degrees to provide shade, minimal exposure from the sun’s rays, and privacy, yet still offer scenic views of the city.

The building will also boast of sustainable and environmentally friendly features such as deep, horizontal fins which will allow natural ventilation and shade, a highly efficient AC and lighting system which will have at least 20 percent energy savings, and high-performance glass resulting to a well-insulated building envelope.

Finally, in line with Foster’s thrust of designing with the environment in mind, at least 30 percent of the condominium will be devoted to green spaces, open for all the residents to enjoy.


For more information on The Estate Makati, visit, or email