The Loyola Heights campus, illustrated
22 Feb 2022 | KD Suarez
From an empty, talahib- and cogon-strewn expanse in a then-remote corner of Quezon City, to a vibrant, green, and lively community – this is how Ateneo de Manila Unversity’s main campus in Loyola Heights has grown over the years.
And in its 70th year – and as we all ease our way back to our campus in a “new normal” setting – the campus’s numerous landmarks are given a unique treatment by one of the country’s most renowned landscape architects.
It was in 1952 when Ateneo students first attended classes in the new campus in Balara, Quezon City, on a “bluff overlooking the Marikina River Valley, subsequently called Loyola Heights” (Arcilla, 2009). Through the years, numerous buildings have been built around campus, showcasing a variety of styles that give Ateneo’s structures a unique architectural mix.
Famed landscape architect Paulo Alcazaren has been drawing sketches of buildings in the Loyola Heights campus. It is an offshoot of his work, he wrote in his column in The Philippine Star, as his firm has been involved in several projects with Ateneo, including developing the campus master plan.
Late last 2021, he presented to the University a proposal to feature his illustrations in a calendar project – a proposal that was timely for marking the campus’s landmark 70th in 2022.
In the 2022 Ateneo de Manila desk calendar, a Loyola Heights campus landmark is featured each month, accompanied by a short write-up featuring interesting trivia and history for that particular structure. The captions were written by Prof Fernando “Butch” Zialcita of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. There is also a limited-edition 2022 planner, containing the same illustrations.
Among the buildings featured are:
- Blue Eagle Gym (January) - the first structure erected on campus, actually built in 1949
- Xavier Hall, the University administration building (February)
- Kostka Hall (March)
- Horacio dela Costa Hall (April)
- First Pacific Building (New Rizal Library) (May)
- Moro Lorenzo Sports Center (June)
- Grade School Chapel (July)
- Old Rizal Library (August)
- Faura Hall (September)
- High School Chapel (October)
- Manuel V Pangilinan Center for Student Leadership (November)
- Areté (December)
It also features a sketch of the aerial view of the Loyola Heights campus in the front cover, and the Church of the Gesu in the back cover.
The sketches are a fitting reminder of how the University’s main campus has grown and developed over the decades – a campus that Fr Willliam Masterson SJ, the primary architect of the move to Quezon City, would be proud of.
A limited number of calendars are available for purchase for Php 350 each, via the Office of Alumni Relations. You may email Ms Eva Estrera (email@example.com) for inquiries regarding availability.
Arcilla, J. 2009. 150: The Ateneo Way. Media Wise Communications.