PROMISE beams in every drawing sheet and board. The vibrancy of the building plans, perspectives and other drawings bespeaks the animated nature of the minds of this year’s fifth year architecture students. Five years of rigorous academic training is summed up in the ultimate project before the esteemed piece of parchment called the diploma validating such work is formally given.
For years, the architecture thesis has always been one of the most energy draining and emotionally charged pre-graduation tasks that can squeeze out the best in every student. Just recently, the University of San Carlos’ Department of Architecture concluded the thesis deliberations for its graduating batch. During the thesis defense, they showed that even amidst all the stress and tension that one day they would be capable of doing great works when they become licensed architects.
This year’s top three thesis works are exemplars of excellence. Kristian Zhen Cruz’s “Proposed Uptown Suburban Center Using Mathematical Methods,” which gained the highest grade, used the student’s fascination for mathematics in systemizing the process of space planning.
“This study advocates for a more mathematical approach in architecture, enhancing an architect’s design process. Although its immediate application might be for commercial spaces only, its framework could theoretically be translated to befit other areas of interest, from green architecture, urban planning to computational design,” explains Cruz.
The unconventional nature of the proposal, he admits, left most of the people around him skeptical so that it was hard for him to keep an optimistic spirit. Well, he proved skeptics wrong and aced his thesis defense.
The second “best thesis” was titled, “A Proposed Theme Park,” by Juztine Salvador and Abegail Sanchez. It was also first in line for the deliberations. Taking note of Cebu’s stature as an important tourism destination and the lack of important tourism magnets like amusement parks, the budding architects came up with a theme park bathed with Filipino identity. Well, if realized, it would be a source of pride for Cebuanos and something they can call their own.
“A Proposed Redevelopment of the Cebu Yacht Club,” proposed by self-professed “beach boys” Jose Diego Cañizares and Kaz Alexei Onozawa, rounds up the top three thesis works. They have spent a lot of time at yachts club since they were kids so it was almost a no-brainer why they chose the proposal.
Working on an existing development, they had to do an extensive “inventory” of the club’s existing facilities and made sure that their design solutions were rooted in the local context.
The result is a beautiful envisage of the waterfront area that would fortify Cebu’s image as a coastal city. Unlike other happy-go-lucky students who, for now, are just taking up courses in college just for the sake of being in school, this batch of aspiring architects are really serious about their future in the field. Looking at their thesis works tells us they are dead set on getting that professional license, put their learning into practice and helping promote architecture as a recognized and well-respected profession by the public.
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