Immersing oneself in the rich history and cultural significance of architectural heritage is an essential component of understanding the value of heritage conservation. The School of Architecture (SOA), recognizing the importance of such exposure, recently organized an extraordinary exposure trip for its students. Led by Professor John Joseph Fernandez, a group of aspiring architects embarked on a transformative journey to Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar on May 17, 2023. This remarkable visit aimed to deepen their appreciation for heritage structures and highlight why heritage conservation is an exceptional specialization within the field of architecture.
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, located in Bagac, Bataan, serves as a living testament to the nation’s architectural legacy. Nestled amidst picturesque surroundings, this unique heritage beach resort seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. As the students stepped foot into this captivating realm, they were transported back in time to experience the architectural wonders that shaped the Filipino identify. Las Casas De Filipinas showcases an array of heritage houses from different period, each bearing its own distinctive charm and historical significance. From elegant bahay na bato (stone houses) to grand colonial mansions, the site encapsulates the architectural marvels of bygone eras. The students were enthralled by the intricate craftsmanship, meticulous detailing, and timeless beauty that adorned these structures. Each house has a story to tell, and with every step, the students were captivated by the whispers of the past.
During the visit, the students had the opportunity to engage in insightful conversations with the resort’s preservation team, comprised of passionate experts dedicated to conserving the nation’s architectural heritage. They learned about the painstaking efforts involved in the restoration process, including architectural research, materials sourcing, and traditional craftsmanship techniques. Witnessing firsthand the commitment and expertise required to preserve these heritage structures deepened their understanding of the challenges and rewards associated with heritage conservation.
This exposure trip proved to be an eye-opening experience for the students, reinforcing the significance of heritage conservation as an alternative specialization within the field of architecture. They realized that preserving these architectural gems not only safeguards our collective history but also offers endless opportunities for innovative design interventions that blend the old with the new.
Professor Fernandez expressed his delight at witnessing the students’ newfound appreciation for heritage conservation. He emphasized that exposure trips like these play a crucial role in shaping the architects of tomorrow, instilling in them a deep sense of responsibility towards preserving and celebrating our architectural heritage.