The story of the College reflects the evolving convergence of the arts and the sciences, the indoor and outdoor spaces, and the site and city contexts of the designed and built environment. The Architecture Program was first introduced in the University of the Philippines in 1956 through the College of Engineering. In 1958, the architecture program was transferred or placed under the College of Fine Arts. The academic unit later became known as the School of Fine Arts and Architecture. In 1970, the College of Architecture was officially recognized as a separate academic unit, and has since pioneered the introduction of numerous other degree programs including the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in 1971.
The undergraduate programs intersected with the Interior Design program of the College of Home Economics through shared courses that allowed collaboration among the architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design students while engaging the community and nation through the research and extension programs. In 1985, the opening of the Master of Landscape Architecture broadened the scope of the college’s graduate program. The two graduate programs catered mostly to faculty of other architecture schools in the country and, therefore, firmly established the academic leadership role of the UP College of Architecture.
In 2019, the Integrated Graduate Program comprising of five higher degree programs was created. The revised Master of Architecture and Master of Tropical Landscape Architecture programs continue to cater to architecture and landscape architecture undergraduate degree holders. Two new programs, the Graduate Diploma in Landscape Studies and the Master of Arts in Architecture Studies opened admission streams for graduates from other disciplines. The Doctor of Philosophy in the Designed and Built Environment, a first in the country, also serves as a hub for the crossing of disciplines.
- • 1928. The first proposal for a School of Architecture was raised to the University of the Philippines’ Board of Regents. The said school was intended to be established at the Manila Campus of the University.
- • 1954. Dean Crisostomo Ortigas of the College of Engineering tasked Prof. Alfredo L. Juinio, Sr., then the head of the Department of Civil Engineering to establish an undergraduate degree program in “Architectural Engineering.“ At the same time Prof. Aurelio T. Juguilon who was both a civil engineer and an architect was tasked to assist Prof. Juinio in crafting the said program.
- • 1955. The UP Board of Regents approved the proposed undergraduate architecture degree program curriculum. The curriculum instituted a novel five-year course, instead of the common four-year program offered by private schools. It was unique in that it stressed a stronger background in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Mechanics.
- • 1956. The first semester of AY 1956-1957 was officially the first time when the Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree program was offered. At that time, it was handled by the College of Engineering. The first day of classes was on June 1, 1956 (Friday). There were an initial 36 enrollees. The only faculty for the program then was Prof. Aurelio T. Juguilon.
- • 1958. The architecture program was transferred or placed under the College of Fine Arts. The academic unit later became known as the School of Fine Arts and Architecture. The venue of the classes were also transferred to the third floor of Gonzales Hall (University Main Library). Prof. Juguilon was later joined by Prof. Efren P. Hernandez, and Prof. Victor N. Tiotuyco.
- • 1961. The B.S. Architecture program produced its first graduate – Leonardo Concepcion. November of the same year, it saw the elevation of the School into the College of Architecture and Fine Arts.
- • 1962. The architecture program produced its first Cum Laude graduate – Geronimo V. Manahan.
- • 1963. Prof. Hernandez and Prof. Tiotuyco instituted the group work system, mirroring the “group architecture” concept of Walter Gropius. Prof. Honorato Paloma introduced the “concept system” in solving design problems.
- • 1965. Prof. Aurelio T. Juguilon was appointed as the Dean of the College of Architecture & Fine Arts.
- • 1970. The College of Architecture was finally recognized as a separate academic unit. Prof. Aurelio T. Juguilon assumed the post as the first Dean of the College of Architecture. The College officially transferred, and returned once again to Melchor Hall, and occupied its fourth floor, and eventually the expansion at its fifth floor.
- • 1971. Two (2) degree new programs were introduced – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and the Master of Architecture Program. The first faculty of the Landscape of Architecture Program was Prof. Ildefonso P. Santos, Jr., who was later known as the “Father of Landscape Architecture in the Philippines” and eventually was awarded the title – “National Artist for Architecture.”
- • 1974. The Master of Architecture program produced its first graduates.
- • 1975. The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program produced its first three graduates – Zenaida Dela Cruz (Galingan), Jose Velasquez, and Edward Johnson Wong.
- • 1979. The College of Architecture produced its first Magna Cum Laude graduate – Jose Danilo Silvestre.
- • 1980. The College implemented the ladder-type curriculum, wherein the student will be able to obtain a degree after acquisition of critical skills – as evidenced by an award of a Certificate of Architectural Drafting, then a Certificate of Building Technology and finally a diploma for the B.S. Architecture degree.
- • 1984. Prof. Geronimo V. Manahan assumed office as the second Dean of UPCA.
- • 1985. The Master of Tropical Landscape Architecture program was first introduced.
- • 1988. The College produced its first Summa Cum Laude in the person of Irene C. Ngo.
- • 1990. Prof. Honrado C. Fernandez assumed office as the third dean of the College of Architecture. It was also the year, when the Research Program and Extension Program were formally established.
- • 1999. Prof. Cristopher Stonewall P. Espina assumed office as the fourth dean of the College of Architecture. It was also the year when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) confirmed UPCA’s leadership in higher education by declaring it as a National Center for Excellence in Architecture.
- • 2002. Prof. Prosperidad C. Luis assumed office as the fifth dean of the College of Architecture.
- • 2005. The College has finally transferred to its own home in the summer of 2005, where it held its first ever College Recognition Rites in its own grounds in UPCA Building 1. The Architect for Building 1 was Arch. Jose Danilo Silvestre. Building 2 (Admin Building) before, was the burnt down Campus Maintenance Office. Arch. Nicolo Del Castillo, designed the said building for adaptive re-use.
- • 2006. Marked the 50th year since the establishment of the B.S. Architecture program.
- • 2007. Prof. Jose Danilo A. Silvestre assumed office as the 6th dean of the College of Architecture.
- • 2011. Prof. Mary Ann A. Espina assumed office as the 7th dean of the College of Architecture.
- • 2017. Prof. Armin B. Sarthou Jr., assumed office as the 8th dean of the College of Architecture.
- • 2018. The Integrated Graduate Program (IGP) for post-graduate degrees was first introduced starting with the newly updated curriculum for Master of Architecture and Master of Tropical Landscape Architecture.
- • 2019. The Doctor of Philosophy on the Designed and Built Environment (PhDDBE), under the Integrated Graduate Program was first introduced. It was also the year when the College of Architecture – Auditorium, and Building 3 were inaugurated.
- • 2020. Marked the 50th year since the establishment of the College of Architecture as an independent academic unit of the University of the Philippines. In the same year, Prof. Grace C. Ramos, PhD., assumed office as the 9th dean of the College.
Currently, UP CA is further strengthening its role as one of the leading and globally competitive academic institutions of the designed and built environment for trans-disciplinary knowledge generation, creative processes, and public service within the context of enriching Filipino architectural spaces and landscapes.