The entrance to Aurelia Residences

Located in the heart of Bonifaco Global City – the fastest-growing central business district in the Philippines – stands Aurelia Residences, a residential tower reaching 55 storeys into the sky. Slated for completion in 2024, it will be one of the most coveted addresses in the Philippines, boasting spectacular skyline views across Manila Golf Club and Forbes Park.

A living room in Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

Providing an unobstructed window to the world below, Aurelia Residences offers commanding views right across the city. One of the key architectural challenges first presented by the project was how to maximise the viewing angles throughout the tower, across all floors and in all orientations. The solution was the evolution of the signature Aurelia three-petal form, which opens up the façade of the building to dramatic vistas in all directions. To the north, stunning views are afforded of the Manila Golf Club, Forbes Park and the Makati skyline with Manila Bay on the horizon, while to the South-East, the serene view of Laguna Bay can be seen in the distance.

A bedroom in Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

Meanwhile, the views within are just as breath-taking as those outside. The interiors of Aurelia Residences are the brainchild of Italian firm FM Architettura, and exude all the elegance and opulence one would expect from an organisation that epitomises the very essence of what “Made in Italy” confers. An intoxicating fusion of Italian charm and Filipino heritage blends in a new formula, creating a feeling of homeliness from the moment one enters the building. For instance, the swirling chandelier in the lobby is inspired by the terno – the national ceremonial dress worn by Filipino women – but it bears all the hallmarks of Italian artisanship.

The lobby in Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

“I was inspired by Filipino women and their elegance, and I wanted to give this feminine elegance to the entire building,” says Francesca Muzio, co-founder of FM Architettura, and the interior designer behind Aurelia Residences. “The chandelier [in the lobby] was designed to give the idea of some of the texture that you’d find in Filipino fabric used for the terno.” She adds that travel and culture invariably provide her with an endless source of inspiration. “Since a very young age, I have always liked visiting other countries, which in turn has inspired my work,” Muzio says. “A lot of my inspiration comes from experiencing new cultures, and meeting new people in particular.”

A master bedroom in Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

Inspiration, however, is nothing without proper execution and – from the first architectural sketches to the detailed exploration of fabrics, finishes and furniture – the mindset of all those involved with the development of the project has always been the perpetual pursuit of perfection. “We are crazy about quality!” laughs Muzio. “My design vision for Aurelia Residences is akin to a new form of luxury. I think this effortless elegance is something that we really want to achieve – a new form of living, almost. Aurelia Residences has been designed for the people who are going to live here.”

A bedroom in Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

Muzio should know – she has been a regular visitor to the Philippines for years, partly for work but mainly for pleasure. “I love the Philippines,” she says. “It is a beautiful country. Everywhere you go, you sense an incredibly positive energy, and it is impossible not to be fascinated and overwhelmed by it. It is contagious!”

The showsuite at Aurelia Residences designed by FM Architettura

Despite being within spitting distance of the country’s capital, Manila, and with plenty of sights right on the doorstep of this bustling CBD, Muzio recommends heading slightly further afield to find one of her favourite travel destinations, Palawan. An archipelago situated to Manila’s south west, Palawan is most famous for its seascapes and abundance of aquatic wildlife. One of the Philippines’ most sparsely populated places, it is also among one of its most beguilingly beautiful.

The entrance to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (image courtesy of David Milmont)

Muzio has two key suggestions for visitors to Palawan. Firstly, she advises heading to Palawan Island to paddleboard through Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. A natural wonder, this is the longest navigable underground river in the world, which cuts through the heart of a series of limestone cliffs, punctuated by incredible stalactites. Secondly, she reckons no trip to the Philippines would be complete without a visit to Kayangan Lake, located to the north of Coron Island. The glistening green waters are among the cleanest in the Philippines but – just like the views over Bonifaco Global City from Aurelia Residences – the best way to see the lake is from above. A climb up the steep jagged cliffs surrounding the lake is well worth it for the incredible views from the top. Not that the residents of Aurelia Residences will have to worry about uphill climbs – the 55 floors of the building are serviced by a series of lifts to whisk them straight up to the comfort of home.

Kayangan Lake (image courtesy of Karl Paul Baldacchino)

For more information about FM Architettura, go to