The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will close its doors in January 2023 to start its three-year rehabilitation plan. During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities on September 1, 2022, CCP President Margarita Moran-Floirendo announced the closure, saying that they are now renovating the whole building and retrofitting it.

Photo Courtesy of Ed Simon

Designed by National Artist for Architecture Architect Leandro V. Locsin, the brutalist building was created in 1966 to promote and preserve the best of Filipino arts and culture. CCP has been a residence for performing companies representing dance, music, and theater, such as Ballet Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

Floirendo also requested additional funds for the sudden closure of the building. “We will need more funds than what we expected because our team did not plan to move out. When they started to open the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little theater), they saw the need of structural retrofitting. So the whole staff is moving out of the building next year,” she explained.

The renovation project is projected to last until 2025. A 2018 to 2019 audit revealed that several areas of the building need to be retrofitted. Last June, Floirendo also said the audit found several areas that should be fixed, aside from keeping the building up to date regarding environmental and fire codes. 

In a statement posted on the CCP website, Floirendo said: “The building audit diagnosed the extent of the repair needed. The evaluation of the data gathering indicated that there are problems with multiple-site damages such as leaks, corrosion, and structural weaknesses brought by water seepage, earthquakes, and fatigue.” 

“Further, we have to update the Center’s fire protection, environmental protection, and other building codes,” she added.

The cost of the whole project ranges from P950 million to P440 million for the first phase and P515 million for the second phase.

“The rehabilitation project of the Tanghalang Pambansa (CCP Main Building) begins at the fourth floor, roof deck and the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater). In the next two years, the plan targets the other floors. Renovation works will continue to the upper and lower basements until 2025,” the CCP management said.

“Based on the plan, the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) will be the last to be rehabilitated, probably starting in 2024. This includes the renovation of the hydraulic orchestra pit, which has not been changed since it was installed in 1969,” the management added. “The building foundation will have some strengthening works, but its overall condition is still quite stable.”

The CCP management plans to lease space at the Design Center of the Philippines to accommodate the artistic department. Executive offices, meanwhile, will transfer to the Ramon Magsaysay Center in Malate, Manila.

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