Architects: Craig Kronenburg, Principal
The Asian Development Bank is a financial institution devoted to promoting economic progress in the developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In accordance with its charter it is headquartered in Manila in the Philippines. Mr. Kronenberg was responsible for leading the design team on this important project when he was design studio head for the Los Angeles office of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. The headquarters is the workplace for 2,000 employees, about 700 of who are expatriate professionals from its member countries. In addition to the one million square feet of office space there are 200,000 square feet of special employee support functions including a cafeteria, executive dining, training rooms, recreational facilities, shops, a commercial bank, meeting rooms, and a main hall that can seat up to 1000 people.
The complex is organized around a garden courtyard with shade trees and fountains for employees to enjoy during their breaks. The buildings are based on architecture indigenous to Asia, with the tropical climate significantly influencing the design. The office building is organized around two large atriums with skylights that minimized the amount of perimeter wall exposed to the tropical heat. The lightly green tinted windows are set back deeply from the outside walls and shielded from the tropical sun with screens while maximizing the amount of natural light to the perimeter offices. Even though the bank has 100% stand by emergency power, we provided operable windows in the event of a long-term power failure. The complex is built of reinforced concrete to Zone 4 earthquake standards, and is clad entirely in granite to minimize the maintenance costs. The cafeteria is designed as a pavilion, constructed of heavy timber posts and beams so when employees break for meals they feel like they’ve left the building. As studio head for this project, Mr. Kronenberg was responsible for leading the design effort that included programming, space planning, interior design, environmental graphics, landscape architecture, and architectural design. In addition to these disciplines he worked closely with our structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers, as well as fire and life safety, lighting, food service, and acoustical consultants. The headquarters was completed in 1990.