Top Architectural Firms in the Philippines

Last Updated – Nov 10, 2021 @ 7:38 am

With an architectural theme that leans towards modernity, innovation, and history, contemporary Philippine architecture honors its various influences and recognizes the unique needs of Filipinos all over the country.

Beauty and functionality are two elements that always go hand in hand in Philippine architecture, and its growth has inspired many architectural firms in the country to stand out. 

Top Architectural Firms in the Philippines

Our list of the top firms in the Philippines does not have a specific formula. Rather, we took into consideration their response to how the country and the rest of the world are changing. 

For instance, the top firms in the country are aiming to create more earthquake-resistant buildings, and using age-old techniques such as the “Earthquake Baroque” popularized during the Spanish occupation. 

More architects are also focusing on different site restorations, sustainability, and technological advancements especially in cities that boast a rich history. 

Here’s our list of the top firms in the country, arranged in alphabetical order.

Aidea

Multi-awarded architectural firm Aidea Philippines, Inc. is originally from England when they started in 1995. In 2003, they evolved to become a firm with all-Filipino talents.

Aidea is one of the largest and most successful firms in the country, and they have reaped several awards including the BCI Top 10 Architectural Firms in the Philippines. Their most notable achievement is ranking 86th in the BD World Architecture Top 100, making them the only firm in the Philippines to make the list. 

This remarkable firm covers a wide range of specialties, and give its clients custom-designed solutions to achieve optimum efficiency.

  • Key projects:
    • Globe Tower in BGC
    • Ascott Residences
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Residential
    • Transport
    • Retail
    • Commercial
    • Industrial
    • Healthcare
    • Hospitality
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact details:
    • Address: 30/F BPI-Philam Life Makati, 6811 Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
    • Contact number: (+63) 2 7 758 8888
    • Address: 7/F Unit 1W – 702 One West Aeropark Bldg. Clark Global City, Clark Aviation, Pampanga
    • Contact number: (045) 280 8847
    • Email:
      • For Business Enquiries
      • cd_bd@aidea.com.ph
      • For General Enquiries
      • enquiries@aidea.com.ph
    • Website: https://www.aidea.com.ph/

Asya Design Partner

Another firm that has been consistently awarded as one of BCI’s Top 10 Architectural Firms since 2005, Asya Design Partner is known for its competence and personalized service, partnered with economical cost.

Led by Architect Albert Yu, this firm boasts a very impressive portfolio, with local and international projects to boot. 

Asya is positioning itself as a firm that is at the forefront of incorporating design into the environment. It is also the only firm in the country with a 12-story Platinum-certified green office building. The sprawling space is over 20,000 square meters. 

With their 25 years of experience, and over 1,000 projects competed in Asia, they’re truly one of the best. 

  • Key Projects:
    • City of Dreams
    • Robinsons Galleria Cebu
    • Jazz Residence
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Residential
    • Transport
    • Retail
    • Commercial
    • Industrial
    • Healthcare
    • Hospitality
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: A Place Building, Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, CBP-1A, Pasay City
    • Contact number: +63 2 8808 – 5888
    • Email: asya@asyadesign.com.ph
    • Website: https://asyadesign.com.ph/

Budji + Royal Architecture + Design

Founded by Budji Layug and Royal Pineda, Budji + Royal Architecture + Design prides itself on unique organic modern style.

They are known for their signature complete practice approach to design that combines elements such as furniture design, landscaping, architecture, and interior design. 

This architectural firm has won many awards. Aside from working for high-profile projects in the Philippines, they also have projects in Turkey, the USA, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel, Australia, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. 

The design approach of this firm respects the environment around the project. They promise to remain true to nature’s natural beauty and form by incorporating sustainability efforts in their solutions. 

  • Key Projects:
    • Camara Residence in Makati
    • Lumot Vacation House in Laguna
    • Meranti Hotel in Quezon City 
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Hospitality
    • Residential 
  • Areas they serve: Philippines and international
  • Contact Details: 

Casas + Architects, Inc.

This firm was founded by Carmelo T. Casas, and Jose Pedro C. Recio, who both gained experience from a leading architectural firm in Hong Kong. The creative partnership of the two started in 1990. 

What makes this multi-disciplinary firm unique is its amazing contemporary vision. They excel best in master planning and achieving the ideals of architecture in all their work.

With a wide variety of works in their portfolio that include hospitals, residential condominiums, commercial properties, and industrial complexes, their track record speaks for itself. 

  • Key Projects:
    • Salcedo Park
    • ABS-CBN Broadcasting Studio
    • The Pacific Plaza Tower in Makati
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Offices
    • Institutional
    • Mixed Use
    • Residential
    • Commercial
    • Hospitality
  • Areas they serve: Manila, Cebu
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 6F Paseo Center 8757 Paseo De Roxas Ave. Salcedo Village Makati City
    • Address: 7F MSY Tower, Pescadores Road Cebu Business Park, Cebu City
    • Email:
      • information@casasarchitects.com
      • charlie.casas@casasarchitects.com
    • Website: http://www.casasarchitects.com/

Edward Co Tan & Architects

This firm was founded by Architect Edward Co Tan, who has been in the industry since 1984. The company was established in 2003, and since then, they have provided outstanding services not only in architecture, but also interior design, and master planning. 

One of the things this firm emphasizes is value engineering and space planning. They are driven by their “Structure as Architecture” philosophy, which involves looking at every single detail of projects, including the design, cost, and structural concerns. 

Over the years, they have gained experience building low-rise and high-rise projects such as offices, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, resorts, and homes.

The firm has also embraced advancements that complement the systems developed by the U.S Green Building Council, Philippine Green Building Council, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. 

Edward Co Tan & Architects is also a consistent awardee of BCI Asia Top 10 architectural firms in the Philippines.

  • Key Projects:
    • The Sanctuarium in Quezon City
    • Del Rosario Building in BGC
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Education
    • Healthcare
    • Residential
    • Government
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 6 Monte de Piedad Street, Brgy. Kaunlaran, Cubao Quezon City 1109
    • Contact number:
      • +632 727 4694
      • +632 727 3239
    • Email: design@ect-architects.com
    • Website: https://www.edcalma.com/

FSL & Associates, Co.

FSL & Associates, Co. was founded by Felix S. Lim. With more than 700,000 square meters of completed projects, it’s no question why this architectural firm is considered one of the country’s finest.

This firm is driven by its philosophy of seeing architecture as an art that fulfills the expressive and practical requirements of people. As designers, they work to incorporate the conservatism of institutional structures and the dynamism of today’s modern age.

Together with architects such as Patrick Jefferson Lim, Don Fendi Li, and a team of talented designers, the works of FSL & Associates, Co. can be seen in the Metro Manila skyline. 

  • Key Projects:
    • Podium Mall
    • Eton Cyberpod Centris in Quezon City
    • BDO Tower in Ortigas Center
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Offices
    • Commercial
    • Residential
  • Areas they serve: Metro Manila
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 6th & 7th flr. FSL Center, SL building., 1407 Yuseco St., Sta. Cruz, Manila
    • ​Contact numbers:
      • + 632-2564900
      • + 632-2565200
      • + 63917-8177785
    • Email: fslarchitects@gmail.com
    • Website: https://www.fslarchitects.com/

Jonathan O. Gan + Associates

Jonathan O. Gan + Associates is one of the fastest-growing firms in the country, and they are famous for their environmental creations and methods that incorporate technology, culture, and designs beneficial to modern society. 

A consistent awardee of BCI Asia top 10 firms in the country, the edge of Jonathan O. Gan + Associates is their institutional architecture projects. Since 1995, they have developed more than 3,885 hectares and 280 projects.

  • Key Projects:
    • Chimes Condominium in Greenhills
    • Southville Foreign College
    • Xavier School Sports Complex.
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Residential
    • Commercial
    • Malls
    • High-Rise
    • Offices
    • Hospitality
    • Restaurant
    • Institutional
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 10 Saint Paul Street, Horseshoe Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila
    • Contact number: (632) 721-9154
    • Email: archjogan@jogassociates.com
    • Website: https://www.jogassociates.com/

JSLA Architects

Established in 1983, JSLA Architects has dramatically grown from a small family practice, to one of the biggest firms in the country.

Their almost 40 years of experience is not the only achievement they have under their belt. In fact, JSLA Architects has been consistently awarded as one of BCI Asia’s Top 10 Architectural firms in the country since 2006. 

Part of the firm’s most notable works is they were responsible for 37 of 70 SM Malls, and over 40 buildings in Bonifacio Global City.

The firm has more than 130 staff, as well as in-house state-of-the-art equipment to help them actualize their promise for quality management and excellence. 

  • Key Projects:
    • SM Mall of Asia
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Hospitality
    • Education
    • Residential
    • Commercial
    • Industrial
    • Government
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: LHK Square, L4 & U4 Floors, 288 N. Domingo St., Brgy. Pasadena, San Juan City
    • Contact number: (+632) 8726-6312
    • Website: https://www.jslaarchitects.com/

Visionary Architecture, Inc.

Also known as Visionarch, this architectural firm was established in 2001. Although it’s not as old as other firms on this list, they have already cemented their name in the country’s architecture scene.

The firm has been recognized by multiple award-giving bodies, and they have also worked on some of the most high-profile projects in the Philippines.

Visionarch is driven by its life-centric philosophy. They believe that their projects should capture beauty and utility, while making the lives of people better. They consider design as something that involves people’s full spectrum of life. When this philosophy is translated to reality, they can draw individuals to spaces that help enrich their lives. 

  • Key Projects:
    • One Ayala
    • Arca South in Taguig
    • Avida Towers Serin East in Tagaytay
    • Xavier School in BGC
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Education
    • Transportation
    • Commercial
    • Residential
    • Hospitality
  • Areas they serve: ASEAN Region
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 2305 Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Centre, Tektite Building, West Tower, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
    • Contact number: (632) 863 70234
    • Email: info@visionarch.com.ph
    • Website: https://www.visionarch-architects.com/

WTA Architecture and Design Studio

This firm considers itself as a multidisciplinary group of idealistic young architects, interior designers, engineers, and urban planners.

WTA Architecture and Design Studio has come a long way since it was established in 2007. Aside from being cited by BCI Asia as one of the top firms in the country, they were also the recipient of the coveted Archstoyanie Nikola’s Belvedere First Prize, where they beat more than 227 entries from 35 countries all over the globe.

Although their portfolio is comparably small to other firms on this list, it includes notable structures in the country. 

  • Key Projects:
    • Portal Mall in Binondo
    • One Mall in Valenzuela City
  • Services/Specializations:
    • Institutional
    • Office
    • Hospitality
    • Mixed-Use
    • Transportation
    • Residential
    • Retail
  • Areas they serve: Philippines
  • Contact Details: 
    • Address: 302 Metrosquare Building, 224 Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan
    • Contact number: (+632) 8570 4148
    • Email: contact@wtadesignstudio.com
    • Website: https://www.wtadesignstudio.com/

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Tips on Choosing the Right Architect for your Project

The process of choosing the right architect for your home or building is a serious undertaking. Here are some factors that can help you make the right decision. 

Experience 

When an architect or firm has more experience in the industry, you can have more trust and enjoy more comfort with letting them take the reins for your project.

If they have completed numerous successful projects before, it’s a sign that they know what they are doing. If you hire an architect without prior experience, you may experience roadblocks or a huge learning curve which can delay your project and make way for additional costs.

You can also take a look at their previous projects to have an idea about their capabilities when it comes to satisfying clients. Keep in mind that all their projects may look amazing on paper, but seeing their work in the flesh will tell you whether or not that’s true. 

Communication

You can’t simply decide on an architect based only on their website or portfolio. You must have a personal discussion with them to see how good their communication is. Architects must be able to clear all your doubts about the project and answer whatever question you have in mind. 

During the discussion stage, you can also talk about their approach in design, their team members, project duration, cost, and methodology of work, among many others. 

Personal involvement

One of the major aspects of the success of your project lies in your involvement. What does the architect or firm require from you?

Most architects want their clients to be highly involved in the project, while some prefer a more hands-off approach so they can apply their creative expertise freely. 

Price

Cost is a major factor when choosing an architect. If you receive a bid for a firm that’s considerably lower than all other bids you got, there may be a factor behind that which concerns the quality of their work.

Take time to understand the ins and outs of the project, especially how the budget affects construction. Double-check if you’d be dealing with hidden fees that will blow up the cost. 

Location 

Over the years, working remotely has become easier. However, there’s nothing that beats face-to-face meetings especially when it comes to huge projects.

As much as possible, choose a local architect. This way, site visits, and meetings are easier to plan.

Use a comparative approach

When it comes to choosing the architect or firm to hire, choosing based on a comparative approach is the way to go. 

Take a look at your different options side by side and see what their expertise, weaknesses, and strengths are. Many architects stand out in their experience, while others pride themselves on their artistic vision. 

Once you weigh the pros and cons of each option, you are one step closer to making your final decision. 

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Architectural Firms in the Philippines FAQs

How much is the architect fee in the Philippines?

Even if you’re on a budget, you can still find rates that are perfect for you. Ready-made house designs are available for as low as Php10,000. This basic set includes soft copies for the floor and roof plans, as well as other architectural details. 

On the other hand, premium sets cost between Php45,000 to Php50,000. This includes six sets of signed and sealed drawings, as well as documents that are needed for the building permit. The plan also has cost estimates for construction to help you plan your budget. 

Typically, architects charge a fee that ranges from 5% to 12% total of the project cost. However, this depends on the project’s complexity, as well as its similarity to other projects.

What is the difference between an architect and a designer?

Architects and designers have separate roles and skill sets. Choosing the right professional to hire is essential for any project.

So what makes the two roles different? 

Architects are responsible for planning, developing, and implementing the building design. They are in charge of creating the design for your project, as well as alterations. To do this, they use their high-level drawing skills, and construction knowledge which is essential to bring you a safe, beautiful, and functional building. 

On the other hand, designers are the go-to professionals if you want to make your interior space functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing. Their skills include selecting the best decorative items and elements such as lighting, colors, and materials to make your project the best it can be. 

Best architecture schools in the Philippines?

Architects are greatly influenced by their school since this is where they learn the foundation of their trade. There are many schools and universities in the country that offer architecture.

Here are the ones that have gotten the most outstanding performance in the Architecture Licensure Exam in recent years:

1. University of the Philippines Diliman
2. University of Santo Tomas
3. Technological University of the Philippines
4. Polytechnic University of the Philippines 
5. Mapua University

Outside Metro Manila, the best architecture schools include:

1. University of the Philippines Mindanao
2. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao
3. Ateneo de Davao University
4. Negros Oriental State University
5. University of Baguio
6. University of San Carlos, Cebu

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About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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