The Hyundai Logistics Center in Calamba, Laguna, is the conversion of a former textile factory into a processing plant for automobiles.  The ten-hectare property included a one-hectare factory building that had once been completely enclosed, electrically lit, and air-conditioned.  Hyundai Philippines’ corporate vision called for the conversion of this dark and abandoned industrial site into an environmentally sustainable complex.   

The Adaptive Reuse of this 1980s complex was rooted in an essential transition from darkness to light.  Roofs were adjusted and equipped with light monitors to bring in natural light.  Walls were opened up to bring in natural ventilation.  Original marble floors were repaired and reused.  Green roof were installed where possible.  The result has been a naturally cool well-lit space where worker morale is high, and where electricity bills are half what they would normally be. 

The project has been given the GREEEN Kamagong award, which is the highest ranking accorded by PGBI, or the Philippine Green Building Initiative.


From BluPrint Volume 1 2019: 


Drivers of Sustainability

The Hyundai Logistics Center as an Industry Leader in Doing it Green

Written by Lloyd Capilit Llaga


An architecture that derives its raison d’etre from a sincere translation of noble design philosophies is a rare gem.  And if the spirit that guided the hand and heart of the architect echoes harmony in nature, it becomes a jewel to the community.  A landmark in its own right, the Hyundai Logistics Center is cradled in the clement landscapes between Mount Makiling and the Tagaytay ridges as a symbol of innovation for the environment. Architect Dominic Galicia transformed this once dark and dank ten-hectare industrial compound into what is now a model for sustainable facilities design in the automotive industry.


The approach from the main entry directs the eyes to what the designer calls “the prow,” a sharp protrusion that mimics the bow of a ship and serves as a preview to the narrative of a Hyundai car’s sojourn through this ecological edifice.


On the second  floor of this welcoming corner are the executive offices that serve as the brains of the operations the same way a bridge commands a shipshape enterprise. Through adaptive reuse, this former textile factory did not go through any major structural modfications but the treatment of elements ensured that light and energy change their dynamics from artificial to the natural. Initially, there was this sense of abandonment here but we pursued a program to transform it from a dark and stuffy building into a light and airy work environment, explains Architect Galicia. Double glazed windows open up to the view of the majestic Makiling and invite the brightness of the sun without trapping its heat inside the offices. Partitions are set to segregate operational functions but do not reach the ceiling, contributing to the openness of the space and the promotion of healthy air circulation.


But what captures ones interest is a mysterious tubular obstruction in the middle of an otherwise open space. Measuring about two meters in diameter, it cuts through the ceiling down to the concrete  floor. Only when one heads downstairs does it reveal its purpose as an elegant light well that pierces through to the chapel on ground level, showering solar illumination on a metallic Christian cross made of found objects. If the executive offices is the brain of the operations, the chapel is its heart, the architect elaborates. By puncturing a drum of light that passes through the brain, the heart seems to provide divine guidance in all significant undertakings that happen in the executive center. This to Architect Galicia is another demonstration of the marriage between the natural and the spiritual and its interplay with the secular.


The chapel is also a marvel to experience. Triangular in its layout, it underlines the trinitary characteristic of most spiritual teachings. Offset from the center line is the Christian crucifix intentionally rusted by a continuing flow of water from atop its vertical beam.  Staked on an immaculate white circular island platform in the middle of a shallow pond, this symbol deliberately stains the surface to create patterns. Lighting is a combination of an electrical uplight emanating from recesses in the interior partition and brightness from the sun that beams down through twelve small portholes punctured through the outside wall. The twelve holes represent the Disciples and they are downlights coming from the heavens that meet with the earthly illumination of artificial lighting from the opposite wall, elaborates Architect Galicia. Green, symbolic, and theological – this design approach is consistently represented throughout the logistics complex highlighting architecture as a powerful tool in presenting narratives.

On stepping back outside to study the façade, a familiar parapet of brown panelling broken into segments by curvilinear weaves serves as background to the silver Hyundai corporate emblem. This is the design source of all dealership buildings erected throughout the country to highlight innovation for humanity.


The main reception area breathes of newness and crisp simplicity with their white walls and open approach to space allocations. Floor- to-ceiling glass panels face the front lawn, bringing in more light and reducing their energy consumption by as much as half of the old structures use. LED bulbs assist in brightening up corners farther from the sun. In true green style, adaptive reuse of the old marble flooring was adopted, thus reducing cost and minimizing carbon footprint in the construction phase. Behind the reception and lobby is the service center with a wide open workspace allowing air and natural light to circulate for mechanics to move with comfort.


Among the first interventions applied by the design firm of Architect Galicia were roof monitors. Since the former structures were found to be traditionally enclosed and restrictive, all major roof segments were retrofitted with these monitors, letting solar energy to enter while reducing the need for electric lighting fixtures. To augment this modification significantly, two sides of the four walls were torn down and appointed with large louver gates that provide both intake and egress of vehicles passing through the facilities.  This addresses the issue of confinement and birthed a new spirit that is more expansive and motivating for the whole complement of technicians performing their daily automotive magic.


Architect Galicia says that this was a process-centered design starting with reception and ending in a symbolic benediction of

all Hyundai vehicles before they begin their journey through the Philippines. The vehicles are first received from the Port of Batangas and sent to what I call purgatory where they shall await their fate, he adds with a little levity.


After some days of waiting, they are washed in the pre-delivery inspection facility which is a towering hunk of a building with cross- ventilation so effective, fans and AC systems are not necessary on a typical work day. After this step, they go through detailing in the next building donning the same design approach the architects used in the washing facility. But since this step requires sufficient focused illumination, light tunnels commonly found in car detailing shops are installed. The big difference though is that they are attached to numerous steel beams that wrap around lined up cars like rib cages of gigantic dinosaurs. Instead of using solid walls to hold the numerous LED lights in the tunnel, this skeletal modification promotes air circulation, further reducing electrical consumption and health risks for the workers. Once detailing has been completed, the vehicles are ready to be shipped to their new owners. But the process is not complete without the benediction. Just before exiting the detailing building, all cars pass through a symbolic gate where the Hyundai emblem is projected down onto their shimmering body by aid of another light well punctured through the green roof above. This is a Hyundai cars final blessing here that marks its readiness to blaze new trails around the country.


The roof deck was designed by Espina, Perez-Espina and Associates and features grass as ground cover with cogon as simple horizon breaks. Some outdoor events are held here by the company and it provides a replacement greenery for the footprint the building would have otherwise deprived the property if a mere concrete slab was retained. But an additional benefit from the green roof that must not be underestimated is its contribution to the cooling effects within the building it covers and the decrease of surface runoff. This completes the synergy of good ventilation, natural lighting, and passive cooling that working with nature provides. The rest of the landscape concepts applied in this sprawling compound were also delivered by landscape architects Mary Ann Espina and Brian Alan Sabido of the same design firm.


An integrated water treatment facility contributes to the overall reduction of carbon footprint and wastewater of the facility.

It is housed in its own building doing the work of cutting the requirement for water in the operations and support departments. Most of the pallets they used have been transformed to small furniture and ceiling substitutes. An ongoing program in the company also intends to use less paper and their solar panels had been producing surplus electricity that they now have the ability to return some power back to the grid. Hyundai walks the talk and it plans to keep walking.


On 28 April 2015, the Hyundai Logistics Center (HLC) was launched through the initiatives of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI). Its president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo led HARI to transform a decrepit and abandoned textile factory in serene Calamba into a world-class facility that preaches sustainability in its daily operations. With the help of green designers that include Architect Galicia and Landscape Architect Espina, HLC became a reality. In a little over a year, the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) awarded HLC the prestigious Kamagong Certificate for promoting sustainable development in the redesign of their ten-hectare complex. This was in line with PGBIs advocacy called Geared for Resiliency and Energy Efficiency for the Environment (GREEEN). Criteria for the award are energy and the environment, sustainability and responsiveness, and materials sustainability, among others.


The future is bright for Hyundai Logistics Center. HARI recently launched their Dream Center in coordination with Hyundai Motor Group and Plan International. It is a program that supports out-of- school youths who wish to train as technicians and mechanics free

of charge. After six months of modules and hands-on subjects, 45 students graduated and were deployed as regular employees in various dealerships nationwide. Hyundai Ioniq hybrid and fully electric cars are also reflective of the culture of sustainability the company is espousing. As for the facility itself, Architect Galicia explains that the next phases would introduce a Hyundai car museum and a formal training academy for a sustainable automotive industry. With two dealerships already certified by PGBI as well, Hyundai projects that all other branches would soon follow suit, making HARI a truly sustainable corporation that looks to the future.


There should be no such thing as green architecture because all architecture should be green, opines Architect Galicia. With his passion for designs inspired by nature and the wisdom of the bahay kubo itself, he believes that gone are the days when designers should merely copy from architectural textbooks without regard for the abundant aid the environment provides. He further explains that by understanding the bigger picture and doing the actual work

of thinking things through, users of spaces are happier, nature is conserved, and businesses succeed. The Hyundai Logistics Center is a clear testament to the positive consequences of planning for built environments with human happiness as guide, responsible enterprise as fuel, and sustainability as a framework for future prosperity.