Supreme Court of the Philippines

Client Philippine Government
Location Manila, Philippines
Project Type Public
Status Concept Only

Handel Architects' design for the new Supreme Court of the Philippines is based on the spiral, the embodiment of the eternal search.

The design of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is a competition entry for the new Supreme Court to be located on a site in the McKinley Hills Area of Manila. 

The design is symbolic, functional and highly sustainable. The buildings form embodies the dynamic pursuit of reason, equality and fairness for the common good. It rises out of the surrounding community to become a symbol of justice and democracy.   These principles manifest themselves in every aspect of the building, from the spatial planning to the external envelope and material choices.

The New Supreme Court Complex derives its inspiration from the Golden Mean, which has both philosophical and mathematical significance.  The Golden Mean has long been equated with beauty and studied by the greatest mathematicians and philosophers throughout history.  Its form manifests itself in the natural world in things such as the spiral organization of leaves and the nautilus shell, veins and artery systems, crystals and even skeletal systems. The father of natural law, Aristotle, believed the Golden Mean represented balance and harmony. It was the basis for his understanding of justice. 

The building has been organized to open widely towards central Manila, metaphorically embracing all people and all ideas. The outer portions of the spiral behaves as supportive functions of the complex and is sheathed in glass, metal and wood.  As the Supreme Court Complex spirals inwards, it simultaneously begins to elevate.  This central portion of the complex is designed to house the Court Justices and their staff. The architectural cladding is more refined and sheathed in glass, symbolizing the refinement of law, at the highest order, and transparency in the process of achieving it. 

In an effort to minimize the carbon footprint and support an emerging industry into the Philippines, the new Supreme Court Complex has been designed to use Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction on a concrete foundation.


Design Architect Interior Designer