The Vast Scale of the New Philippine Arena Unfolds After 20 months of Construction

Populous Associate Principal Ron Van Sluijs who regularly travels to the site in Manila reports:

The Philippines is a country going through rapid economic development. Where one day there are scattered rusty corrugated metal roof farm houses surrounded by lush green rice paddies and mature mango trees, the next day the world largest indoor arena sits among them.

Due for completion in April 2014, the Philippine Arena will be the world’s largest indoor arena seating 50,000 people. Situated on a green field site north of Manila, the arena is of a scale not previously seen before in the Philippines, and will put the country on the world stage.

The Client for the arena is Iglesia Ni Christo who are building it as part of a community development which, when completed, will include an arena, a university, a stadium, a sports hall, a hospital, several hotels and residential accommodation.

Over the last 18 months, two shifts a day working from 7am to midnight, have kept the construction site buzzing with activity. A constant flow of concrete mixers, trucks with reinforcement steel, semi-trailers with huge pre welded steel components shipped from Korea, and many other trucks with materials and products from around the world have been pushing along a narrow dirt road full of pot holes that provides site access until the proper free-way ramps are completed.

The scale of the project has become the talk of the town. In recent months installation of the roof cladding has commenced and the true scale of the 65m tall 220x170m wide building has become evident.

Here is a record of some of the images I’ve captured over the past 20 months

The site prior to development works beginning

After one month concrete columns have been erected

Five months in the Arena starts to take shape

Tapered columns for the upper concourse are erected by specialists

8 months into construction the roof space frame is assembled

The workers are required to work at significant heights for three months while installing the roof

After 15 months the vision is coming together

The neighbouring rice farms

The thatched roof of this hut inspired part of the  arena roof design.

And what a view from the top!

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