We are currently located at the mezzanine floor of the First United Building (formerly known as the Perez-Samanillo Building which is along Escolta Street in the heart of old Manila and a stone-throw away from the world’s oldest Chinatown. The elegant six story art deco building was built in 1928 and designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro (son of Juan Luna, a world-renowned Filipino painter during the late 1800s).
The area itself is considered as a business heritage district. It was the commercial hub of Manila during the early 1900s and was a witness to many “firsts” in the country: first ice cream parlor, first movie house, first electric tram among others. It is less than a kilometre in length but it is replete of magnificent post-colonial architecture designed by highly respected Filipino architects. Significant businesses, fashionable items and imported merchandise were sourced in the street during that period. Since we moved to Escolta, its history and heritage have been part of 98B’s backdrop.
We have a modest multi-functional space. Depending on the need, it can serve as a studio, office, library, shop or kitchen. The space itself can comfortably accommodate a maximum of 20 people. Through the years, we were able to slowly upgrade the facilities and equipment within it. It is also available for rent for intimate activities and meetings. The 98B Space is a quiet and creative respite from Manila’s din.
The 98B library is an aggregate of art books, journals, magazines, exhibition catalogues, brochures, posters, invitations, audio recordings and videos donated by friends, colleagues, galleries and institutions from here and abroad. These art-related documentations aspire to establish a free and open repository of art references for individuals looking for more information on specific concepts, designs and works of local and foreign artists. It is open to anyone who may wish to browse through our collection. It is also geared towards sharing references from our other networks around the globe.