The restoration of the China Bank Building at the corner of Juan Luan St. and Dasmariñas St. in Binondo, Manila, is nearly complete, with the remaining construction work and finishing touches in the upper floors progressing as well as can be expected amid the quarantine restrictions. According to the committee chairman of the China Bank Binondo Heritage Restoration Project, SVP Alexander Escucha, the restoration is on track to be completed by the end of the year.
Designed by German Architect Arthur Julius Niclaus Gabler Gumbert in the Neoclassical fashion, utilizing a variation of the Beaux-Arts style, China Bank’s original headquarters was built in 1923-1924. The Bank began restoring it in 2019 not only to preserve its heritage for the next generation, but also to help bring about Manila’s revival. As China Bank Chairman Hans Sy said, “This restoration project is China Bank’s contribution to the revitalization of Binondo.”
The project was the centrepiece of China Bank’s centennial celebration in August 2020, during which the facade restoration was completed. In January this year, the restored banking area at the ground floor, the Binondo Business Center, was officially opened to the public.
A massive undertaking, the restoration project is also a disaster preparedness and resiliency effort requiring extensive structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and insulation work. It can be considered the most faithful restoration that has been done on any building in the country.