The Estate Makati’s design is ‘shaped by the sun’

The great cities of the world are equated with their iconic landmarks, wonderous architecture, or breathtaking skylines. Can you picture New York City without the Empire State Building or Paris without the Eiffel Tower?

When The Estate Makati tops off in a few years’ time, it will stake its claim as the crown jewel of Ayala Avenue — forever altering the cityscape as we know it. To get this highly ambitious project off the ground, a partnership between two of the country’s most respected business families was forged. Befitting a project of this magnitude, SMDC and Federal Land Inc. turned to the award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners for a design that would cement their legacies. The result is a marvel of engineering, making use of technologies that will mark many firsts in the Philippine real estate industry.

The Estate Makati’s façade overhang of about one meter extending from the structure between every floor means that the building provides its own shade. Add to this the benefits of using double-glazed windows and cooling the units becomes highly efficient.


For Foster + Partners, the design process started by studying the topography of Makati, including the patterns of the sun and wind. As Perry Ip, one of the project principals, says, it’s a building “literally shaped by the sun,” which meant orienting the structure in such a manner to minimize exposure to the sun’s rays. “As the sun in the Philippines is quite strong, we designed the windows to be angled a certain way so that it doesn’t spill into the unit but still provides enough light — without compromising the breathtaking views of the Makati skyline,” said Luke Fox, head of studio and senior executive partner, who is leading the project. The firm also used double-glazed windows throughout the structure to reduce the flow of heat and external noise entering the building’s façade.

The Estate is the first Foster + Partners-designed building in the country.

Further addressing the effect of the sun, the firm created a cross-shaped building. From its core extend each of the four wings, making each unit a covetable corner unit. The façade overhang of about one meter extending from the structure between every floor means that the building provides its own shade. Add to this the benefits of using double-glazed windows and cooling the building becomes highly efficient — good news for the residents as well as the planet.


The Estate Makati has 53 floors above ground, housing a total of 188 residential units. These units range from spacious 151-sqm. two-bedroom flats to the massive multi-level 763-sqm super penthouse suites. Hidden inside each of the units is the architectural feature that makes The Estate Makati rise above all others: the double-slab technology. By concealing things like utilities, plumbing, and electricals in between double slabs of concrete, the unit layout can be customized according to the wishes of the homeowner. Just imagine the possibilities of these “lots in the sky” — having a unit without columns or partitions.

Further highlighting the possibilities of design flexibility is the building’s concept of an “Inhabited façade” — a bay window like you’ve never seen. In this specially designed three-dimensional space constructed out of double-glazed glass and a stain-resistant shell of GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete), residents can fill this space with purpose — a work desk, a bench, a day bed, breakfast nook and even a bathtub. Privacy, after all, is not an issue. These inhabited facades have been skewed by more than 10 degrees, making them face away from your neighbors. Due to the building’s orientation, views from either the Ayala Avenue or Apartment Ridge Road side (facing Urdaneta Village) are phenomenal, even from the lower floors. On the uppermost levels, the nearly 270-degree views of the city are simply breathtaking.

For residents’ peace of mind, the elevators are very spacious, one of which is large enough to accommodate a horizontally-oriented stretcher in the event of a medical emergency. Then should any of the residents require immediate treatment, the building’s helipad can be used to transport them to the nearest hospital. Gearing up for the future, the building’s parking facility is equipped to handle electric vehicle charging needs, with a charging point provision for each unit owner.

For more information on The Estate Makati, visit, or email contact