A 1957 book by Paul Reps titled “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” cited the teachings of Soyen Shaku, the first Zen Buddhist master to teach in the United States, who implored people to meditate each morning, eat and rest at regular hours, and “watch what you say and whatever you say, practice it.”
A Western audience found these thoughts so appealing that the book had facilitated the rise of Zen among teachers, students and practitioners in the United States even to this day.
And there’s no reason to think that the appeal of Zen living had waned, given the increasingly frenetic pace of today’s lifestyle. In fact, Zen teachings continue to be seen as an antidote to the stresses and anxieties stemming from modern-day preoccupations. All the more, the distress from the pandemic and the economic downturn only further increased the wanting for recovery in homes that, as Shaku noted, enable us to “sleep as if you had entered your last sleep” and take on the next day with a fully healed self.
That Zen address of our dreams takes shape in the heart of metropolitan Manila through The Grand Midori Ortigas. Federal Land Inc.’s two-tower residential enclave, its first foray into the Ortigas central business district, rises on a prime 5,090-sqm property along Exchange Road.
The 44-story building extols Japanese values in its thoughtful architecture and design. Renowned Japanese architectural firm Tange Associates did not veer from its heritage as the building stays true to the principles of Zen: simplicity, functionality and profoundness.
The generous unit cuts acknowledge future residents’ need for recovery and healing. The 908 addresses range from studio to three-bedroom units, with sizes ranging from 36 sqm to 109 sqm. These units revel in simplicity sans the complication, encouraging owners to tune into themselves, unwind and recover as soon as they get home. These modern sanctuaries afford dwellers adequate spaces for self-discovery and personal growth.
Despite this sense of tranquility, The Grand Midori Ortigas will still allow future residents enviable access to modern conveniences like workspaces, retail spaces, hospitals, schools and other essential establishments.
Form + function
Form and function marry in this project. The building’s façade uses horizontal and vertical louvres to resemble a weave pattern and limits the direct sunlight going to the unit. The bright and pale colors for its exterior help the structure stand out and insulate itself. The inverted U-shape meanwhile gives the building symmetry and stability, and the residents a stunning expansive view of the South.
The shape invites attention to the elegant outdoor amenity, which perfectly imbibes healing, the Japanese way.
Of the expansive 3,402 sqm amenity floor, almost half is dedicated to outdoor amenities and landscaped gardens, which highlight The Grand Midori Ortigas’ love for the Zen concept of “wabi-sabi” (the beauty of things imperfect) and “miyabi” (refinement and elegance), another ideal indigenous to Japan. “Wabi-sabi” helps residents embrace the naturalness of imperfection and the essence of both authenticity and simplicity. The “miyabi” way, meanwhile, ensures opulence and elevation in the understated aesthetic.
Pocket gardens and open areas can also be found on the ground floor, amenity floor and roof deck. These allow residents to commune with nature, even while in the midst of a bustling CBD.
Homage to tradition
The healing life may also be gleaned from the amenities. The entrance hall is a homage to Japanese dignity and tradition as the expansive hallway is designed with shoji screens. It gives a grand welcome to residents every time they come home.
The lounge area, yoga room and study lounge promote a meditative life indoors. Residents may also enjoy the fitness areas, as well as the conference, multipurpose, game and children’s rooms. Luxurious outdoor features include a jacuzzi, lap pool, open lawn, kiddie pool, pool lounge and children’s play area.
Half of Shaku’s quote is about waking up and leaving the bed healed and inspired to face the future. A home in The Grand Midori Ortigas could provide dwellers that morning jolt, given its outstanding offering of personal and shared spaces and facilities.
As the Zen life converges with the idea of individual well-being, it has all the works to promote the ideal, well-balanced life. Far beyond religion or philosophy, Zen is about what a person does. Something you can personally do to achieve this fabled life is investing in one of units in The Grand Midori Ortigas. The great thing about buying into this premier development is the fact that the Zen self-perpetuates for homeowners.
Zen, they say, is beyond words. You just readily know it when you experience it. Here, at The Grand Midori Ortigas, is a unique choice to get what that means.
To know more about the project, call The Grand Midori Ortigas hotline at 09178221443, email [email protected] or visit www.midori.com.ph.
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