By Walter Ang
May 21, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The museum will move in to the Lopez Tower and Museum Building once the structure is completed by 2014.
The Lopez Museum was founded in 1960 by Eugenio Lopez, Sr. and started out in Pasay City in a building designed by Angel Nakpil (since demolished) before moving to Pasig in 1985.
From sugar holdings in Iloilo, industrialist Lopez, Sr. grew his family's wealth vastly through businesses in different industries.
The building broke ground in a ceremony that included the lowering of a time capsule led by Lopez Holdings Corp. chair emeritus Oscar Lopez and chair Manuel Lopez. Manuel is also chair of Rockwell Land, developer of the building.
The contents of the time capsule include eight pieces of polished coins, a newspaper, and plans for The Lopez Tower and Museum such as renderings and floorplans.
For the people
When the museum moves to the Lopez Tower, it will gain double its current floor space in Pasig, with the tower's first and second floors earmarked for the museum.
Mercedes Lopez-Vargas, museum executive director and granddaughter of Lopez, Sr., says, "The Lopez Museum in Rockwell Center is envisioned to be a relevant community space. We want people to be able to access and interact with our collections and exhibits."
She listed the museum's different components for the public: Its library has always been open to the public; it always rotates pieces from its permanent collection for display and regularly hosts exhibits of new works; and it also holds lectures and workshops on various topics year-round.
She noted that the museum's eventual interior design will focus on "the visitor experience." Its location in the 15.5-hectare Rockwell Center development marks it as a center point that complements that area's high-rise upscale residential towers, Rockwell Club country club, and Power Plant Mall.
The building will have 19 stories and is intended to be the new headquarters of some of the Lopez companies, housing offices for businesses in industries such as real estate, property development, power generation, and telecommunications, among others.
The Lopez Tower and Museum building will pursue a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design, construction and operation of eco-friendly "green buildings."
The building's "green" design will go hand in hand with the museum's efforts, working with architect Katherine de los Reyes, in researching suitable materials and designs for the museum's interiors and the best methods for the eventual transportation of its collections to maintain and enhance the museum's conservation and digitization programs for optimum preservation.
Its library collection, including books, prints and maps, features over 20,000 titles by around 12,000 authors covering almost 600 years of Philippine arts, history, and culture. The oldest piece is a copy of the Belarmin-Lopez Doctrina in Ilocano from 1620.
Its art collection houses rare works by renowned painters such as Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo. It also has works by National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Victorio Edades, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Jose Joya, and Vicente Manansala?artists whose Rockwell Center's residential towers are named after?among others.
At the Lopez Museum at Benpres Building, "Beat," an exhibit featuring the works of contemporary artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion that contemplate the multiple meanings of the word "beat," such as defeat and rhythm, runs until October 13, 2012.
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