At the launch of MyCitiHomes’ Sabella Village, a 47-hectare master-planned community in the town of General Trias, Cavite, I met Principal Architect and Urban Planner Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr who told me about this new development and his design philosophies. Enlightened by his architectural genius and remarkable principles, I asked him about his impressive career and outstanding architectural firm.
Architect Palafox has 45 years of experience in architecture and 43 years in planning. He was educated in Christ the King Seminary, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, and Harvard University. For continuing education, he took up an Advanced Management Development Program for Real Estate and attended seven other special courses in Harvard. On May 2017, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines conferred on him the degree Doctor of Fine Arts (HonorisCausa).
Architect Palafox has lectured in Harvard University, MIT, and in 18 other countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. His extensive travels allowed him to observe 1,000 cities in 65 countries. He also actively participated in conferences, lectures and seminars of which he is an associate/member, like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the American Planning Association (APA). He is the Country Representative for the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Palafox Associates is his multi-disciplinary firm founded in July 1989. With more than a hundred full-time staff and professional consultants, their main expertise lies in Architecture, Urban Planning, Town Planning, Site Planning, Engineering, Interior Design, Project Development Studies, and Environmental Design.
The Palafox Architecture Group is the architectural design arm of Palafox Associates, established in January 2014 as an offshoot of its five architectural design studios. They offer a full suite of services from Conceptual Design to Contract Documentation. Intensifying its focus in delivering design solutions, the Group also provides Interior Design, Animation and Graphic Design, and Project Management services.
In 2017, the Palafox has opened branch offices in Cebu and in Davao as well.
Through the years, the firm has done more than 1,200 in over 39 countries, involving the master planning of more than 17 billion square meters of land, and the architectural design of more than 12 million square meters of building floor area.
Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group carried out the architecture of residential, commercial, to hospitals, clubhouses, and resorts. The office has been involved in master planning and/or the urban planning of islands, provinces, cities, municipalities and towns, golf course communities, institutional, industrial, residential, and tourism estates.
The firm has also received more than 200 awards and recognitions since 1989, most notably as the first Filipino architectural firm included in the Top 500 Architectural Firms in the World of the London-based World Architecture Magazine in 1999, the only Southeast Asian architectural firm included in the list. For 2012, Palafox Associates ranks 89th in the list of the world’s largest practices and Top 8 in Leisure projects. In 2014, Palafox Associates organized its five architectural studios into Palafox Architecture Group, Inc. BCI Asia has awarded Palafox Associates BCI Asia’s Market Leader in Architecture in the Philippines for nine consecutive years, from 2005 to 2013, and Palafox Architecture Group in 2016.
On July 2013, CTBUH headquartered in Chicago elected Architect Palafox as one of its two new Fellows worldwide. Architect Palafox was also cited by Forbes Asia Magazine in their list of 48 Heroes of Philanthropy in Asia, one of four in the Philippines. In November 2017, he was awarded by the JCI Senate as one of the three Top Outstanding Filipinos.
Architect Palafox has been elected recently as Chairman of the National Real Estate Association (NREA). He is a past president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI Philippines), the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP), and the first architect-urban planner president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). He is also a Fellow of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP).
Even with his truly multi-awarded profession, Arch. Jun still interjects solid design values giving respect to elements of nature, God and country. The Sabella project is an excellent example where all of these wonderful elements are incorporated into this Palafox designed development.