Iglesia builds world's largest dome

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- By 2014, Bulacan will have the biggest dome in the world and will outshine major cities of Los Angeles, London and Seoul.

Religious sect Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) spent P9 billion for the building, named Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue town, of what could be the world's largest dome in history.

The dome is expected to be completed by 2014 for the group’s centennial celebration.


Touted the largest in the world, the Philippine Arena will have a seating capacity of 50,000 to 55,000, a floor area of 74,000 square meters, and an arched roof measured at 36,000 square meters.

Internationally acclaimed builders Populous of Australia, United Kingdom’s Burro Happold and Hanwha E & C Corporation of Korea have started the construction of the fully air-conditioned edifice which shocked the engineers themselves.

“When INC first contacted us, we didn’t know a lot about the Philippines. We were astonished because the project is ambitious and unusual,” said Andrew James, Populous’ structural design consultant.

The Philippine Arena would be twice bigger than the Staple Center in Los Angeles, California with 21,000 sitting capacity and O2 Arena in London with 30,000 seats.

It will also tower three times over the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Stadium, Korea’s largest indoor arena.

During the recent groundbreaking ceremony, INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo said the dome will fulfill the dream of his father and predecessor, Eraño Manalo, of building a facility for the local and international community “to serve and share God’s blessings.”

“The Ciudad de Victoria where Philippine Arena is being constructed will also be the home to EGM Memorial Medical Center, New Era University Bulacan campus, New Era University Sports Stadium Complex and EVM Convention Center, capable of holding a wide range of events,” Manalo said.

Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said the building of the dome in Bulacan is a wise decision as developments brought by it “will cascade down to all barangays and will benefit the whole province and the country as well.” (Charlene Cayabyab)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 15, 2011.

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