A memorial to Colonel Joseph McMicking and Mrs. Mercedes Zobel-McMicking, who are credited for their significant contributions to the development of Makati’s financial district and the rest of the country, was unveiled recently at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. The courtyard where the memorial now stands was also named the McMicking Courtyard.
The memorial’s art piece, designed by Leandro V. Locsin Partners in collaboration with Ayala Land and the Zobel family, is made of weathered steel and appears to be arising out of a shallow film of water. Water and light from the portal become a single stream of light traversing the courtyard towards the edge of the Plaza Fountain beneath the grand archway of Ayala’s headquarters, Tower One and Exchange Plaza.
According to the architect’s design brief, “The portal and water represent the union of Col. and Mrs. McMicking, a partnership that brought together the ingredients of visionary resolve and deep humanity that resulted in something much greater than the sum of its individual parts.”
During the ceremony, Ayala Corporation Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala read the inscription on the McMicking’s memorial, which partly says: “Together, and in their individual capacities, Col. Joseph and Mrs. McMicking made significant contributions to the development of Ayala Corporation, Makati City, and the rest of the country…This memorial honors their contributions to uplift the Filipino people and nation, and we hope that their legacy continues to inspire present and future generations.”
After the Second World War, Col. McMicking’s 25-year master plan for the Makati Central Business District transformed what was once idle grassland into the country’s premier financial and commercial district. A noted planner, visionary, and innovator, he also pioneered novel concepts on urban development and financial services that would later become the foundations on which the modern Ayala Corporation was built.
Mrs. McMicking on the other hand, was a quiet leader known for her corporate philanthropy and civic engagements. She was active in numerous charitable and religious organizations, and was ultimately the family matriarch whose qualities brought everyone together.
The McMickings also founded the Filipinas Foundation in 1961, which is now known as the Ayala Foundation — the first corporate foundation in the Philippines. This formalized the Ayala group’s commitment to quality education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihood, and the promotion and preservation of Filipino culture and the arts.
Ayala Land’s history started in Makati in the 1940s and the company has regarded the Makati CBD as the inspiration for every integrated, mixed-use community it has built over the years.
Its new developments and features, such as the McMicking portal, situated in an oasis at the heart of the business district, underscores its commitment as a builder and steward of dynamic and progressive sustainable estates.