Mactan-Cebu Airport’s Terminal 2 beat Singapore’s Changi to get international award

December 9, 2019 - 3:28 PM
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, designed by a Hong Kong-based firm, has gained several accolades including a World Architecture Festival award. (IDA-HK photo)

Tourism and transport agencies praised the team behind the design of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 for being recognized at the 2019 World Architecture Festival.

The architecture of Terminal 2, which was designed by multi-awarded firm Integrated Design Associates-Hong Kong, won the Completed Buildings: Transport category at the festival which took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from December 4 to 6.

The news was posted on the social account of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority on December 5.

“Yet another big win for Cebu and the Philippines!” part of the caption read.

BREAKING NEWS:MCIA Terminal 2 is the winner of the “Completed Buildings: Transport Category” in the 2019 World…

Posted by Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority on Thursday, December 5, 2019


The Department of Tourism congratulated the teams who collaborated for the airport’s award-winning design—the Hong Kong-based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates with support from Budji+Royal and Kenneth Cobonpue.

Local-based Megawide Corporation and India-based GMR Group led the construction of the project under the massive infrastructure campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The tourism department emphasized how the concept represents the airport’s purpose as an important gateway to the Philippines.

“Among its strengths are its simple elegance, its innovative use of both foreign and locally sourced materials, and its oneness with its surroundings,” its statement read.

“The building’s roof is meant to represent the ocean, while its expansive and exposed internal structure reminds one of the hull of a boat; its brightness and openness of space, deeply symbolic of the Filipinos’ welcoming nature,” it added.

The Department of Transportation also described this as another “big win” for the Philippines to the world.

Based on the website, MCIA-Terminal 2 bested other reputable nominees in the category such as Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport and Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Station.

“This is a simple and elegant new airport that uses many locally sourced materials. It is integrated into the local area through the development of a local hub and a landscape plan,” the judges wrote in their notes.

The World Architecture Festival is a three-day event where various influential figures in the industry interact with the rest of the architecture community.

“It is the only architecture event where keynote talks from the industry’s most influential figures sit alongside live crit presentations from 534 award finalists, global networking and an international product exhibition,” its website read.

How the winner came to be

The development of MCIA-Terminal 2 started in 2015 during the administration of Benigno Aquino III when Megawide and the GMR Group formed a consortium for it.

Cobonpue was then tapped to help in the interior design while fashion designer Cary Santiago was tasked for the uniform of the personnel.

The GMR-Megawide Airport Corporation has since overseen the entire construction of this project.

It was only 16% complete when the current administration took over it, the DOTr previously said, as part of Duterte’s ambitious “Build Build Build” program.

When it was completed, Duterte described it as “the most beautiful airport in the country.” It was inaugurated in July of last year.

Last October, the terminal was ranked as among the best airports in Asia based on a 2019 survey conducted by It was also the only local airport that made it to the list.