The Candaba Wetland Centre Design Competition

Between December 2009 and May 2010, the Architectural Students Association of the Philippines – University of the Philippines and the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCWP), organized the ‘The Candaba Wetland Centre Design Competition’. This was a competition for architectural students to come up with a design for the proposed Candaba Wetland Centre which is envisioned to be an educational gateway to the Candaba Marsh in the Province of Pampanga, Philippines.

The site is at the edge of the 3,000-hectare system of freshwater marshes that is a major staging ground for thousands of migratory birds. The area has a wide array of floral and faunal species that will benefit from this education and conservation initiative. The purpose of the Centre is to establish a showcase of a wetland in a natural setting that is accessible to people. It will include an interpretive centre where people can appreciate the functions of and services provided by wetlands.

The Luzon-wide competition was open to all architecture, engineering and landscape architecture students. There were 26 entries from 8 universities and was able to reach out to at least 250 students, 50 architecture/landscape architecture faculties, 10 business partners, and many other countless supporters about wetland conservation through this project. 

In 01 December 2009, the competition was launched via a Symposium entitled “Unraveling Nature: A Peek Into Wetlands and Architecture” where the students were given theoretical knowledge about wetlands and architecture. The symposium was attended by more than 250 students. These students were further given experiential learning through a field visit to the site in 12 December 2009.

The contest ran for a period of six months with three major milestones namely: 
(a) Submission of design concepts which were exhibited during the celebration of World Wetlands Day last 02 February 2010;
(b) Submission or architectural drawings which were exhibited during the Haraya Festival last March 18, 2010. Preliminary judging was done resulting to the top ten shortlisted entries that prepared their respective scale models.
(c) Presentation of the final entries by the shortlisted groups and Final Judging of the top three entries last April 23, 2009 as part of the celebration of Earth Day.

The culminating activity of the competition was the Awarding Ceremony held on 18 May 2010. The top three entries were awarded cash prizes, Certificates and tokens. The winning design will be used for the development of the Centre. The above video link to the design competition has been prepared by the Architectural Students Association of the Philippines - University of the Philippines and can also be viewed on:

The Design Competition was made possible through the generous support of Unilever Philippines, Total, Manila North Tollways Corporation, and several other sponsors. The project site is being made available by GStar Ventures.

The SCPW is now raising funds for the development of the Candaba Wetland Centre. Development is scheduled to commence in early 2011.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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