National Theater – Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex

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National Theater, Philippines

The CCP is a 62-hectare (150-acre) complex which provides performance and exhibition venues for various local and international productions. Its design was based upon the Philippine-American Friendship Center. It exhibits the architect's signature style known as the floating volume, a trait often depicted in indigenous structures in the Philippines, such as the nipa hut. It houses three performing arts venues: a theater for film screenings, galleries, a museum, and the center's library.

The facade of the National Theater is overpowered by a two-storey travertine block erected at 12 meters (39 ft) high with deep concave cantilevers on three sides. The overall structure is built in concrete. The entry to the theater exhibits a vehicular ramp fronting the raised lobby and a side entry for pedestrians situated on the northwest side. In front of the building’s facade and just below the ramp is an octagonal pool with fountains and underwater lights.

On the main lobby of the building hang three large chandeliers from the third floor ceiling, each representing the three main geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The orchestra entrance leads to the main theater, while the pedestrian entrance leads to the little theater or to the main lobby via a massive carpeted spiral staircase. The Main Theater is the largest performance venue inside the CCP. It can accommodate up to 1,815 people in four levels: Orchestra, Boxes and two Balconies. The Little Theater seats 413 people in one orchestra section and features the same Mahogany flooring as the larger Main Theater. The Center has a lone black box theater called the Studio Theater, which can seat up to 240 people in two levels.

The upper floors have large areas that are open to the ground floor lobby, accentuating the large chandeliers and interior spaces on the northeast side of the building. Surrounding these open areas are three exhibit halls and another three hallways that can be used for displaying artwork. The main gallery houses the largest exhibition place, located on the third floor with an area of 440 square meters (4,700 sq ft). The hallways alongside the Main Theater are also used for display and measure 2.4 meters (7 ft 10 in) high by 30.2 meters (99 ft) wide each.