Clark International Airport: One of the ‘world’s most beautiful’—designed by Megawide and IDA

The Clark International Airport (CRK)—one of the country’s newest and most modern global gateways—recently earned the latest World Architecture and Design Award or “Prix Versailles” of the UNESCO for being “one of the most beautiful airports in the world.”

The design award “is bestowed upon projects that exemplify innovation and aesthetic excellence across diverse categories,” according to online news site Rappler. It “highlights the primary role of the ‘Laureates’ in beautifying and improving the living environment.”

For Chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra of Megawide, it is exactly the company’s thrust for innovation and forward-thinking design that went into the global concept of the airport.

Saavedra congratulated the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) as the airport’s project proponent, which provided Megawide the rare opportunity to engage in the country’s first “hybrid public-private partnership program.” It pioneered a system that involved the government’s infrastructure projects construction, with the private sector overseeing their operations and maintenance components.

“Our linkage with the BCDA enabled CRK to become the apex of architecture and engineering, as far as airports are concerned in the Philippines,” said the Megawide executive. “Along with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), we pushed the envelope and broke boundaries from what was initially thought possible for public infrastructure.”

Together with Hong Kong’s International Design Associates (IDA), Megawide pioneered the use of Glued-Laminated Timber or “Glulam” technology in the Philippines, in the installation of the airport terminal’s iconic roof arches—the same specialized kind used in the roof structure of the MCIA.

Meanwhile, IDA’s Principal Architect for CRK Winston Shu revealed that the airport’s roof is probably the “largest single roof built of GluLam in the world.” He explained that “despite the arches reaching different heights, they are modularly the same in span and details.”

“At 20 meters, CRK has a higher and larger roof line than that of the MCIA, which was another award-winning collaboration between Megawide and IDA,” Shu said. “CRK’s roof area spans close to 50,000 sq. m. and used around 7,000 cu. m. of GluLam. It effectively is the highest airport roof arch in the Philippines.”

In all, Saavedra shares Megawide’s pride in helping deliver the government’s vision of first-world transportation infrastructures in Clark and in Cebu: “They are among our signature executions, and it is the company’s singular honor to deliver these kinds of projects for the nation that every Filipino can be proud of.”

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