Monday, June 6, 2011

Aduana Ruins in Intramuros

Ok, I admit that old buildings & ruins interest me much more as sketching subjects than most examples of modern architecture. Some of my favorite subjects to draw may include any of the following: chipped paint, mould, broken & rusting objects and sense of disorder.
I had been eyeing the ruins of the Aduana Customs House in Intramuros for almost 2 months; it's a classic example of ruins - a 135-year old stone building, destroyed in turn by the bombings of Manila in 1945, a fire in 1979, and due to general neglect since. And it's slightly out of the main tourist belt of Intramuros, so many people probably miss it.
I had to sketch my view of the interior looking through the gated windows - it's guarded & closed to the public, to keep squatters out. Looking in at the array of mouldy, scorched arches and cracked & chipped stone beams exposed to the sky gave me a thrill, and a sense of the history of this place!
The old rusting cement mixer sitting amongst the weeds & broken cement was an added bonus to the sketch.


  1. Thank you for the post, Buz. Oh, there's lots of old neglected but architectural jems in the Philippines. We got the interest of even the lead (Basti Artadi) of a Filipino band named Wolfgang. He feels bad with the state of some of our heritage.

  2. I love sketching and drawing ruins as well, even taking pictures of them. Although it's a shame they fell into disrepair, ruins always conjure up such vivid stories in my head. I suppose when things are falling apart your mind is forced to imagine what the original structure might have been like and to populate it with the people who live there, making the experience much more"interactive".

  3. Good comments, Ryan - as I once said about a row of 100-year old houses in Singapore that were crumbling and awaiting demolishment, "Imagine the stories those old walls could tell!"