Finally, NAIA Terminal 1 getting much-needed facelift

If Kenneth Cobonpue had it his way, this is how the new NAIA Terminal 1 would look like. (Photo from Kenneth Cobonpue's facebook page.)

Manila's oldest airport terminal is getting a much-needed facelift. This, through the help of renowned Filipino interior designer Kenneth Cobonpue and architectural firm Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, who will lead the makeover of “the world’s worst airport.”   

In a press conference, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda confirmed the rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 will soon proceed.

“The Cobonpue Group will be allowed to do the interiors of NAIA 1 building with Architect (Andy) Locson handling the architectural services,” Lacierda said.

“For the greeter’s area, it will still be Architect Locsin doing the conceptual design and the architect of record. The Cobonpue Group will help out in the interiors,” he clarified.

The best thing about this?  Well, Cobonpue, designer Budji Layug, and architect Royal Pineda are doing this for free, following their submission of the pro-bono concept on NAIA Terminal rehabilitation after several Cabinet secretaries asked for their help in 2011.

“The Cobonpue Group has offered their services pro bono and we thank them for that,” Lacierda noted.
Cobonpue is an internationally-renowned designer and has clients such as Angelina Jolie, among others.

Locsin is meanwhile the son of National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, whose masterpieces include the Cultural Center of the Philippines and several notable buildings at the University of the Philippines campuses.

In 2011, the government awarded the contract of rehabilitation program to Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, which originally designed NAIA Terminal 1.

The design of Cobonpue’s group, which included an overhaul of interiors to enable faster flow of travelers between security and departure, was however shelved.

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya announced they will focus on the renovation of NAIA Terminal 1’s greeters’ area.

Cobonpue doubts the P2.8 billion-rehabilitation project will be done in time for the 27th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which will be held in Manila in 2015.  The summit is expected to gather about 24,000 participants from over 21 APEC-member economies.

If Cobonpue had it his way, this is how the Terminal 1 would look like: