A Tool for

Assemblage of Symbols & Meanings

Rather than just making a visual icon, the design aims to become a tool for storytelling – freezing a chapter in history through assemblage of symbols. These symbols represent significant events and meanings from the past.


The term “brutal” may mean dictator’s brutal but it is also a short term for “Brutalist” style of architecture. A style that emerged in the early 70’s and is characterized by simple, block-like structures that often feature bare building materials, usually concrete. Most of the legacies of Marcos that stand up to this day are built with this architectural style. It is so strong, that it serves to communicate strength and power of the dictator. 


Designed and patterned to resemble a dried land, the plaza form symbolizes the more than a decade martial rule over the country – more than a decade of state violence and human rights violations. The brutal structure above the plaza is a representation of dictator’s power abuse that has resulted to the evolution of demonstrations and death of people. Thirsty for freedom, the dried land was instead quenched by blood and tears of the victims.




The bold form above the brutal structure commemorates the momentous revolution. After Marcos won the snap election of 1986 which had reports of violence and tampering of election results, people from different sectors and ethnicity gathered in EDSA and in other cities of the country to speak up their voices. Resistance against Martial Law gained momentum. This is where the design of the Museum took its form inspiration. A raised fist which symbolizes unity, defiance, and resistance. In history, the symbol has been used and incorporated around the world to mobilize movement and was seen from 1970 First Quarter Storm to 1986 EDSA People Power.


One of the highlights of the revolution was when soldiers sent to put down the rebellion were met with flowers. Thousands of unarmed Filipinos stood in the way of loyalists tanks, confronting armed Marine troops. A fight for freedom won not by bullets but by flowers. The beauty of democracy unfolded. The Philippines was praised worldwide. In design, the soft and gentle form of the flower is adapted.


 Together, the blend of raised fist and flower petals form of the museum aims to communicate non-violent resistance – symbolizing the power democracy.

Museum Rendered

Exterior & Interior

A sneak preview of the freedom memorial museum’s interior and exterior design.

Related News Articles

Published Articles

Published news articles about the freedom memorial museum from different media outlets.

‘Brutalist’ martial law museum to rise in UP Diliman

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star ) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The martial law museum to rise within the University of the Philippines (UP)’s Diliman campus will be a

3 architects win Freedom Memorial Design

GMA Network Uploaded on Aug 22, 2019 08:08 am Mark Anthony Pait, Wendell Crispo and Mark Angelo Bonita, three young architects, pose with their award, a check for P1 million, from the Commission on Human Rights for winning the

‘Fall of Brutal’ team wins competition to design human rights memorial

ABS-CBN News Posted at Aug 22 2019 06:02 AM The winners of the Freedom Memorial Museum Design Competition, administered by the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission (HRVMMC)
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