Supreme Court of the Philippines (competition entry)

Front elevation


The proposed design for the new Supreme Court building aims to express the majesty of the law and its clear link to the public realm.   It anchors a terraced open-air plaza and consists of a central pyramid centered between two equal wings of offices.   The central pyramid shades a covered plaza whose main feature is the En Banc Session Hall, sitting above the Auditorium and approached via escalators and a grand set of stairs.

The seal of the Supreme Court is a source of inspiration for our proposal.  It contains images of the Ten Commandments as well as of scales in balance.   The seal expresses the values of precedence and fairness in relation to the exercise of the law. 

The pyramid thus suggests the image of the mountain from which Moses descended carrying the Ten Commandments, which are valuable to both Christians and Muslims and are symbolized by the ten round columns at the main entrance at the base of the pyramid.

The equality of the two wings symbolizes the fairness of the law, and the way that they frame the open plaza suggests that the fairness of the law is meant to protect the people.

The response to the climate creates a Filipino sensibility of diaphanous facades which, like the barong, helps to minimize heat gain on interior surfaces. 

The view from Campus Avenue is of a scale that befits the institutional and commercial nature of that neighborhood.  The rear elevation suggests an abstracted Bahay na Bato, suitable to the residential nature of the neighborhood it faces.

Entrance steps lead to round columns representing the Ten Commandments

Rear elevation

Entrance plaza under central pyramid

Session Hall


Office of Associate Justice