WORK for a cause, not for applause.

This was the principle that architect Daniel Lichauco followed when he designed a project for LoveYourself Anglo Community Center, an HIV/AIDS testing center that opened last June 22 in Shaw Boulevard.

Together with his associates in the Archion Architects firm, Lichauco sought to create a comfort zone for HIV/AIDS patients where they can share each other’s thoughts and experience.

“The design of the place is to provide them a place where they can be tested and talk to somebody,” he said.

The clinic has both public and private space where processes of the HIV screening can be done. Six counseling rooms and a doctor’s exam room are also open in the center.

Lichauco acknowledged the patients' need for counseling considering the stigma they had to contend with.

“What you have to understand is that it is no longer a death sentence to be HIV positive. However, some people are still ashamed of it that is why we are trying to move ahead one of our advocacies, which is HIV and AIDS prevention,” Lichauco said.

UST as foundation

Lichauco earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture at UST in 1986. He said the practical lessons that UST taught him developed him to be an architect and educator.

“Carrying the name of Santo Tomas in the workforce will open a lot of doors for you especially when you are going against other schools because they say ‘UST graduates are good’,” he said.

“We may not be from UP, where students are good researchers, thinkers and designers, but I really think UST has an edge in design because it trains the students to become more real, which is a counter point to other schools where they are more theoretical.”

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After graduation, he took an apprenticeship at Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, one of the country’s highly respected architectural firms.

In 1991, he earned his master’s degree in Architectural Design and Theory and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He later took a master’s degree in Classical Architecture and Urban design at the University of Notre Dame.

He then came back to the country and worked with Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, designer of the Coconut Palace.

Lichauco was behind several notable projects such as the Ateneo Professional Schools at the Rockwell Center, Ospital ng Makati, Aquino Center at Luisita Tarlac, Asian Hospital and Medical Center and various branches of the Medical City Hospital.

Founding firm

In March 2000, Lichauco teamed up with Peter Ong to put up Archion Architects , whose mantra was “Your time is your own.”

“We remind our people to become professional with their work. That’s why we work in a timely manner because we understand that even creative people need a break once in a while,” he said.

One of the values that Lichauco got from the University is honesty which he applies in his firm.

“There are a lot of designers who get commission from their suppliers or contractors, but we want to be honest with our clients by recommending a product that we think is good not because we will be getting a really nice give from the supplier,” Lichauco said. Jelina Anne S. Bunagan

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