A Fitting Retrofit: The Restoration of Manila Cathedral | Lighting Design by PL Light


When Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle ascended the cathedra of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, popularly known as the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, one of his first acts was to close down his church. For two years since February 2012, the sculpted cast bronze doors were sealed to pave the way for a much needed restoration, a first since the cathedral’s reconstruction more than fifty years ago. A previous study commissioned by the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica Foundation (MMCBF) under the leadership of Tagle’s predecessor, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, revealed that the Manila Cathedral’s structural integrity had been compromised as evidenced by the cracks on walls and key portions of the structural foundation.


The restoration work has been largely structural, but when the Manila Cathedral finally reopened its doors two years later, the parishioners noticed many visible improvements. The adobe walls were cleaned of stains, mold, and deposits, and certain portions were re-plastered with fresh and compatible mortar. Harmful plants that grew on the façade were cut up to the roots, and chipped off portions of architectural elements were repaired. The most striking improvement is the new lighting system designed by lighting consultant PL Light in Existence. Lighting creates different moods and helps produce a powerful ambiance that allows the parishioners to better appreciate and experience the liturgy as it unfolds. Furthermore, a new audio-visual system was installed to facilitate communication and comprehension.



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A Fitting Retrofit: The Restoration of Manila Cathedral – BluPrint (onemega.com)