(01 December 2015. Pasay City, Philippines) Newly opened SM Seaside City Cebu is SM’s third largest mall in the country measuring 430,000 square meters in gross floor area and is one of the Philippines’ most picturesque, showcasing not just architectural excellence but also resilience in design.
Due to its proximity to the Mactan Channel, the mall draws marine inspiration from the “nautilus”. The sea creature’s unique shape and logarithmic pattern guided the building's architectural shape and design. The nautilus, a spiral shell with pale, pearly chambers, is one of the finest examples of natural beauty and elegance.
Arquitectonica’s Peter Brannan, Managing Director for Asia says translating this design into mall features meant not only providing the usual retail, service and transport facilities. “It also has to act as the social hub, much like the marketplaces or town squares in the old, traditional communities,” Brannan said.
This prompted Arquitectonica to propose “community” features such as a landscaped roof deck that can act like a “Central Park” called the Sky Park.
View of the Sky Park atop SM Seaside City from an architect rendering
The design also includes a central courtyard with a 150-meter modern bell tower which can be the centerpiece of community events like fiestas or New Year Event countdowns. Add to this the “Cube” sculpture at the facade of the mall which is an anagram for “Cebu”, serving currently as one of the more popular “selfie” spots for shoppers and tourists. Nearby at the complex is the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod with a hundred walls, which has emerged as one of the City’s favorite wedding destinations.
Now in operation, the mall makes this communal spirit much more apparent. “We understand that Cebuanos have a very strong sense of community, so we wanted to make sure we gave them a venue in which they could celebrate this communal spirit,” Brannan said. The Sy family envisoned the 30-hectare SM Seaside City complex as a regional destination, bringing together local and foreign tourists from all walks of life mainly from the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Beyond beauty is sustainability
Beyond the mall’s aesthetics, SM believes that investing in sustainability safeguards the welfare of the customers, the tenants, and the malls's host communities. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President Hans T. Sy said during his speech at the UNISDR General Meeting in London in November that depending on the location and assessment of SM’s projects, around 10% of capital expenditure is allocated to disaster resilience which requires making the mall structure resistant to risk from potential disasters. “My experience has proven that investing in resilience of our company’s assets makes good business sense,” Sy said.
For its Seaside mall, Architect Fides Hsu, Vice President of SM Engineering, Design and Development Corp. said SM Prime hired design experts who gave extra attention to the challenges of weather, especially typhoon and flooding given its location by the sea. SM Prime backfilled soil onto the reclaimed property specifically on the roads so that the whole complex where the mall sits is elevated by approximately 4.5 meters from the city roads. Due to its elevation, a lower carpark level was created to accommodate 1,700 vehicles. Furthermore, all necessary electrical and mechanical equipment are located on the roof deck.
In terms of seismic design or provisions for earthquakes, the building structure of SM Seaside was designed in compliance with Philippine building regulations such as the 2010 National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP), the Uniform Building Code (UBC 97), and the International Building Code (IBC 2010).
The mall also uses water treatment facilities that recycle used water by 90% and re-use this for the cooling tower, toilet flushing and irrigation.
To reduce energy consumption, the mall’s airconditioning uses a Building Management System (BMS) and high efficiency chillers. In addition, all storefront windows and skylights of the mall use double glazed low e-glass which prevent heat from penetrating by as much as 78%. Furthermore, the whole mall is equipped with LED lights, while mall escalators have an “auto start and stop” feature that is activated when in use or otherwise. Elevators are inverter type systems that save power of up to 30%.
“Even way back in the mid 80s when SM started building its malls, Mr. Hans T. Sy has been responding to issues of sustainability and disaster risk resilience. The older malls of SM, for example, have long been using the BMS and variable frequency drives for airconditioning that control mechanical motors to maximize usage of power,” Hsu said.
SM is committed to help protect the environment, more so, its host communities by acting as a temporary refuge during times of calamities. “SM Prime places crucial importance on disaster resilience, not as an additional cost, but as part of our core business strategy. It allows us to serve our communities better, to be competitive, and to increase value. But most of all, disaster resilience ensures the safety of our customers and the communities where we operate,” SM Prime’s Sy said.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015