In 2020, the Batangas State University (BatStateU) achieved a milestone by launching the Philippines’ first Knowledge, Innovation and Science Technology (KIST) Park. It is the country’s pioneer economic zone that “allows academic institutions to lease a portion of their properties to business locators in order to foster dynamic collaboration in technological innovation and entrepreneurship.” The KIST Park was initiated by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as a new form of special economic zones that will allow state universities and colleges (SUCs) to maximize large areas of idle land in their landholdings.

We at Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group are privileged to have supported BatStateU in accomplishing this breakthrough for Philippine academic institutions. Our services for the KIST Park included the architecture, interior design, and vertical engineering for the TechnoHub Building, Design Innovation Building, Convention Center, Information Technology Centrum and Data Center, and KIST Hotel; its master plan; urban design; landscape architecture; and horizontal engineering. The total land area of the KIST Park covers 2.80 hectares. The designs and plans are envisioned to promote and strengthen knowledge sharing between locator industries from different fields of science and technology and students and faculty of BatStateU through research, internships, and start-up development and to optimize the development potential of the KIST Park through sustainable and environment-friendly design.  

Architecture, Interior Design, and Vertical Engineering
The five-story TechnoHub will cater to industry partners, line agencies, and other institutions to attain the goal of building a technology-driven, innovation ecosystem for the region. Its main features include amenities and facilities dedicated for start-up development, incubation, and acceleration. It will be a shared service facility for enterprise development in partnership with some line agencies of the government like the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, and PEZA. The Design Innovation Building will be the university’s interdisciplinary hub for learning and design thinking, and it will be an enabling environment for students, researchers, and locators. The Convention Center is a mixed-use facility that will house a 100-seater convention hall, function rooms, retail spaces, and the PEZA administration office. The Information Technology Centrum and Data Center is the university’s showcase area and will accommodate business locators, BPOs, and information and communications technology facilities. The KIST Hotel will also be a new and essential addition to the campus. To make the buildings sustainable and environment-friendly, the architectural designs incorporated cross-ventilation and daylighting solutions, green walls, green roofs, and solar panels, among others.  

Master Planning, Urban Design, Landscape, and Horizontal Engineering
The master plan, urban design, landscape, and engineering features were conceptualized with connectivity, sustainability, grandness, and a sense of place and arrival in mind. The master plan also maximizes scenic mountain views by maintaining a clear vantage point along the center of the development. The master plan and urban design are envisioned to help develop a world-class, innovative, and healthy learning environment that will foster skills training, research opportunities, and future breakthroughs for students, faculty, business locators, start-ups, business incubators and laboratories, and government offices. The plans and designs include, among others, pocket gardens and other landscaped areas, urban gardens, water features, covered sidewalks, bike lanes, ample seating areas, jogging paths, and a rainwater harvesting pond that can be an additional source of water for the campus.