September 10 marks the reopening of The Podium, the second phase of expansion which features a bigger and environment-friendly mall and a 48-story office tower.
Since its opening in 2002, The Podium has housed upmarket outlets and specialty restaurants. It has been a favorite venue for a variety of events in Ortigas business district.
Today, through the joint venture of BDO Unibank and Singapore’s Keppel Land Limited, the new Podium mall redefines comfort and luxury with its sleek, sophisticated design, and wide selection of retail, dining, wellness, and leisure offerings.
The P12-billion expansion gives birth to an architectural masterpiece dotting the Ortigas CBD skyline. Designed by Arquitectonica and Felix S. Lim and Associates, The Podium boasts a streamlined composition of spaces, volumes, colors, and light.
The exterior exudes visual lines that are designed to be eye-catching with lush garden walls that wrap the structure. The 2,000-square meter green wall is the largest in the country, with over 6,500 plants that help cool and purify the property’s environment.
By incorporating green initiatives and sustainability with its new design, the mall has received prestigious awards and citations, including the LEED Gold Mark (Core & Shell) pre-certification by the US Green Building Council, and the Green Mark Gold Award by Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
The beauty extends to the top, too.
Designed as a large curvilinear pod with views over ADB Avenue, the mall’s roof deck complements the rectilinearity of The Podium façade. The 800-seat multifunctional The Podium Hall provides a great venue for shows, product launches, and corporate events.
Complementing the stunning design of the mall is a choice selection of dining establishments and retail outlets that occupy the larger retail space. Previous reports said the expansion will bring an addition of over 34,000-square meter of leasable retail space, bringing the total to 50,000 square meters.
Foodies can have a field day at the mall as it houses modern Spanish tapas bar Las Flores, New York City’s acclaimed Wolfgang Steakhouse, the first Salvatore Cuomo café named after the renowned Italian chef, Nikkei Japanese-American ceviche and sushi bar, Paradise Dynasty, and Niu by Vikings extravagant buffet spread.
Flagship shops of Japan’s Bake Cheese Tarts, Hong Kong’s Xing Fu Tang milk tea, and Ben’s Cookies offer delicious takeaways; while the Corner Market food hall features unique and hip dining options.
Shop at upscale multi-brand lifestyle shops such as Assembly, Cul de Sac, and @ Tokyo.
Luxury timepieces and accessories, on the other hand, can be found at Omega, Breitling, Swarovski, and soon to open Rolex stores; while Dior, Estée Lauder, Kiehl’s, and Jo Malone lead the way in beauty and fragrance.
Wellness outlets include Electric Studio, Manila’s first indoor cycling boutique; Options Studio, Asia’s premier Pilates and movement center; Yoga+, a holistic wellness center and studio; Kinetix Lab, a premium strength and conditioning facility; and The Spa and Barre 3 which offers complete wellness services.
The new complex also features Cubi, a metal sculpture by National Artist Arturo Luz. A prominent presence in the Ortigas district in the 1980s, it was originally commissioned for a modernist building designed by National Artist Leandro Locsin for Benguet Corporation. Today, it continues to be an attraction as a centerpiece that ties together the different elements of the complex.
The newly opened 48-story Podium West Tower, standing on top of the five-story mall, offers complementing and contrasting features with the BDO Tower.
While the BDO Tower is straight, orthogonal, and very masculine in appearance, the new tower has chamfered, curved corners that create an hour-glass profile and evoke a harmonious structure. It is expected to offer over 89,000 square meters of premium office space for lease.
The Podium’s design team consists of Arquitectonica (mall designer), FSL & Associates (architect), Design Coordinates, Inc. (project manager), and DDT Konstract, Inc. (general contractor).