Old Manila charm at Torre Lorenzo Malate
By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 24, 2018 at 5:09 am

It’s easy to wax nostalgic about the old world charm and glory days of Manila, once hailed for its opulence, and once dubbed “Paris of the East.”

Traces of that rich cultural heritage remain evident as distinct historical landmarks continue to remind Filipinos of Manila’s dramatic transformation from the colonial days to the pre-war era, to the modern times, with each district possessing a unique character.

The historical district of Malate alone displays a fusion of those periods from the time it was still a small fishing village during the Spanish colonial times; when it became the trendiest exclusive residential area for American families occupying high rise apartments and bungalows; to the time it

became a bohemian enclave, where many of the country’s famed artists resided, and when the large houses and apartments were transformed into restaurants and boutique hotels.

Premium residences

It’s that fusion, enduring appeal and charm of Malate that Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. (TLDC) plans to infuse in its latest project in Manila.

The country’s trusted developer of premium university residences is building the 45-storey Torre Lorenzo Malate Premium Residences, which is located along Malvar Street in Malate. It is targeted for completion by the first quarter of 2021.

“We are excited to be part of this movement to rediscover the old world charm that only Malate offers. It is true that it is a busy area, with easy access to commercial establishments and mass public transport, but the Malvar neighborhood itself is relatively quiet and safe, making it an ideal place to live for both students and medical professionals,” TLDC CEO Tomas Lorenzo explained.

‘Regional colonial’

TLDC design partner Ivy Almario of Atelier Almarioexplained that the target was to evoke a “regional colonial” feel  for the overall design architecture of Torre Lorenzo Malate, but with a modern twist that will still make it relevant to the present times.

“The design inspiration for Torre Lorenzo Malate is the old, pre-war Malate. Guests will experience a hip yet nostalgic place where the spaces are both friendly and with hints of an elegant, bygone era,” Ivy said.

“The name Malate alone makes us think of the glory days, pre-war days, the art deco days. We were talking about a colonial style but we had to take it to a level that will allow Torre Lorenzo Malate to remain fresh and current. This will open in 2021 so we have to make sure that once it opens, it will be the one to be copied, that it’s ahead of its time, and that it will still look relevant,” Ivy explained.

Ivy and her sister Cynthia, also of Atelier Almario, cited as an example the design for the lobby of Torre Lorenzo Malate.

Wifi-enabled study pods, study areas and collaboration spaces co-exist with living and social areas.

“We wanted to create a lobby that is contemporary at heart but traditional at first glance, wherein you can say, yes, this could be Malate, but then, when you study it, it’s really a modern lobby. That’s the play we want, what we’re going after,” they said.

Another example, according to the design duo, would be the use of panels in the building. Ivy and Cynthia explained that panels are traditional but the way these are scaled, their cadence, the proportion, and everything else had a modern approach.

They also made use of bolder colors and their own version of the wrought irons which are often seen in many buildings and residences in Manila.

University life

According to Ivy, what is also great about the Torre Lorenzo Malate is the fact that it anticipates the needs of the students and medical professionals, providing spaces and amenities meant to complement the university life.

Simply put, each part of the building was developed with a specific purpose in mind.

For instance, TLDC’s thoughtful attention to design enables students to come home to furnished units with modern kitchens, private bathrooms and inspiring living spaces.

Wifi-enabled study pods, study areas and collaboration spaces co-exist with living and social areas. Cafés and restaurants are located on the ground floor while lounge areas can be found in the library.

Health and recreation facilities include a gym and a swimming pool. A 24/7 security system affords peace of mind not just for the building’s residents but for the parents. Residents can also expect the support of a dedicated property management team that is responsive to their property concerns.

Of course, Torre Lorenzo Malate’s strategic location is a huge advantage, as it is a mere 5-minute walk to the University of the Philippines School of Medicine, is just across the St. Paul’s University Manila Campus, and near medical centers Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital and Medical Center Manila.

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