#BAhindTheScenes with Nostalji Enclave

May 28, 2018

#BAhindTheScenes is a series of posts about our practice, that focuses less about the architecture per se, but about the clients that instigate it, people who use and experience it, the ones behind its realization, and the community that co-exists with it. With this, we hope to share with you stories behind the architecture that we have been privileged to be part of.

This video is a series of testimonials about the amenities we designed for Nostalji Enclave, a residential community in Paliparan, Cavite. For amenities in residential neighborhoods, we make sure that it should be always about connecting — whether it’s with your family, friends, or neighbors — the larger goal is to foster a sense of community.

We thought of a place of convergence, open and inviting on all sides, as if luring in and magnetizing the residents to come to this centrally located clubhouse to share moments with each other, to connect on a personal level. As much as architecture is about physicality, space, and feelings, we believe that it must put people first. Architecture must be a means to uplift ways of living and improve society thru encouraging connections with various scales of community. It must be created sustainably so as not to degrade nature, but in fact should enhance it even more for future generations to enjoy. The greater good must be it’s greatest cause.

 

D House : Client Testimonials

May 24, 2018

We imagined a “Home of Beautiful Ironies” — allowing contrasting dichotomies of the users’ micro-culture and the unique sense of place of the site to shape and dictate the process which inevitably manifested in a tangible form.

A house that is moulded by the complexities of specific context, confidently not dependent on market-driven ideas, and one that is able to stand on its’ own two feet.
A house that is progressive and one that hopes to widen people’s perception of what a house should be and could be.
A house that reflects the owner’s personalities and passions, abstracted and imprinted in the house’s aesthetic and spatial organization.
A house that is forward looking, which is designed not just for the past (heritage) and present, but with the future in mind too.

Sharing with you one of our recently completed B+A Homes, D House.

 

B+A on BBC

May 24, 2018

We are ecstatic to share with you all a short documentary on BBC (yes, BBC!), featuring Ning Encarnacion-Tan and our Chief BAdAss Jason Buensalido, as they share with the world how architecture in the Philippines is morphing to respond to the changing times, while still keeping its identity intact.

From BBC.com:
“It looks shockingly exposed to the elements, but that is by design. The bamboo house, a form that architect Rosario Encarnacion Tan says is “in the DNA” of Filipino life, is strategically open so that high winds from the typhoons that hit the Philippines each year can pass right through. A lack of resistance means a reduced chance of complete destruction, while replacing dislodged bamboo is relatively simple. Sometimes older solutions to ongoing challenges are the best.
For a more modern response to the nearly 20 typhoons that hit the Philippines each year, architect Jason Buensalido created an apartment complex where each balcony has a springy floor that can become a raft for inhabitants to use to paddle to shelter.”

To watch the video, click on the image below or this link!
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180517-the-bamboo-houses-of-the-philippines

Send us your thoughts  at design@buensalidoarchitects.com

Keep B+Abbling!

Cheers,
Buensalido+Architects

Sofia Townhomes Revisited

October 30, 2017

We revisited Sofia Townhomes, designed in 2007 and completed in 2009, to observe and enjoy how the people living in it have turned the village into a community and made the houses their own, often adding their touch of personalization to it.

Enjoy the video and the short narrative of Sofia below!

Customizable Layout
We started by interpreting the program into cubes to represent the needed spaces, then sliced these cubes to segregate the service spaces (stairs, toilet and bath, maid’s room) from the main ones (living and dining areas, kitchen, bedrooms). We then pushed some cubes up to create double height spaces in the living area, causing a ripple effect on the cubes above and beside it. During this process, interstitial spaces emerged and created opportunities to integrate lofts all throughout the interior of the house. This effectively increased the useable floor area of the otherwise compact row house. These loft spaces could also be expanded to create even larger spaces, such as additional closets or bedrooms. We were happy to see that during the build, a lot of homeowners personalized their units in their own ways, some we didn’t even think of. The sequence and relationship of the spaces had become a perfect canvas to customize the entire house according to their liking.

Keeping it Light and Right
After establishing the spaces, we were left with a number of stacked cubes that seemed to be in a disarray. We addressed this by wrapping a continuous architectural frame around the stacked cubes to visually organize the composition, then skewed these frames towards the street to visually engage the onlooker. We did the same to the firewalls that separate each unit from another, resulting in a “winged architecture” that effectively funnels in wind through the interior spaces and lets it escape out the opposite windows. Massive windows allowed an abundance of natural light to flood the insides, but kept the heat out with wide canopies and eaves. These steps ensure minimal energy consumption as there would be a less need to turn on artifical lighting and cooling.

The Polygon House

June 18, 2017

We are glad to share a recent video about Polygon House with you. A project that went thru a few revisions during the design stage and some challenges during construction, the end result made the whole process worth-it, and we would do it all over again. It wasn’t easy but someone once said that nothing easy is ever worth pursuing.

“‘The way a space is used varies from person to person, so how come most shells we see are either cubes, rectilinear, or orthogonal?’ he asks.”

“Buensalido kickstarted the design process by studying the voids or spaces in which the users would live and move. The house would then take form by wrapping or encapsulating these voids.”

“Three cubes representing each floor were stacked, their planar surfaces broken down into a series of smaller polygons. These polygons now make it easier for the shell to adjust and adapt to the void, as it allowed the volume to be “folded” into shape dictated by how the spaces within will be used.”

“Where the interiors are concerned, the process created practical and aesthetically pleasing spaces for its users. By breaking down the volumes into a series of polygons, the team designated solid and transparent portions for the cladding depending on the clients’ requests.”

” ‘Just because a house’s form differs from what you expect, doesn’t mean it doesn’t function as one. The shell has less importance than the void,’ says Buensalido”

(* excerpts from a recent feature in BluPrint magazine.)

Park Bench People

November 12, 2016

Text and Photos by Nikki Boncan- Buensalido

If you had foreign guests visit Manila, just Manila, where would you take them? (Don’t say Boracay and Tagaytay because that doesn’t count as Manila.) You might make a mental rundown of places to visit and things to do and you realize that you will inevitably have to add a mall tour to their itinerary. Bummer.

So why is it that in other cities like London, New York, Barcelona or Vancouver, to name a few, you can go on days or even your whole stay without setting foot in a mall? They have parks, museums, hiking trails, flea markets, long-running shows on Broadway and West End, repurposed buildings, public squares, nearby beaches, etc. Why have we built a culture around malls?

In London for example, once the spring and summer season starts, people flock to courtyards of museums, nearby community parks and plazas for picnics, get togethers.  They welcome the sun for most of this season by basking and frolicking in it practically the whole day.  In Vancouver, home of “The Great Outdoors”, the city has national parks, wildlife lookouts, forests, hiking trails off of certain areas.  Or in New York, an endless variety of Broadway shows, museums and flea markets are accessible to everyone.  Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London are both centrally located at the heart of the city, providing a diverse array of opportunities to attain a healthier lifestyle, social life, leisure and relaxation.

Butchart Gardens: The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada also provide a park with thousands of flower varieties. Not only does this educate people about the plants and crops but it also gives national pride to the locals.

Vancouver: Vancouver, Canada has various park trails and treks with different difficulty levels. It natural for them to commune with nature as they enjoy the small parks and open spaces scattered throughout the city

These cities also offer free museum entrances for visitors to learn about their culture, heritage and their national treasure. They are proud to share what they have to their visitors. Moreover, they provide public spaces and opportunities for people to converge and get together.  The visitors use even courtyards in between these buildings.  Children idyllically splash about in water fountains while parents casually talk to other parents.  In plazas such as Trafalgar Square in London, or Times Square in New York, people utilize these spaces climbing onto interactive steps, monuments and pillars.  Isn’t this the quality of life that everyone deserves?  To have the same amount of freedom such as this though, also requires a certain amount of responsibility from the citizens.

Now what about Manila? Is Luneta Park or Plaza Miranda at par with what other countries can offer?  Do our flea markets provide interesting finds that pique one’s interest? Are our museums worth visiting and is getting there accessible most especially to tourists. What can our tourists associate with within the city?

Malls are one of the biggest income generating entities in Manila.  Developers have come up with a million and one ways to continually expand and add huge malls with relatively all the same concessions and surprisingly, these malls are full even on weekdays. There are many possible factors that possibly hinder the community to come together in the way other citizens of the world do, like the weather, or the pollution, responsibility to cleanliness, and maybe even fellow citizens. Perhaps, this is a call to developers to place value on other projects that also help build communities besides malls in order to promote the betterment of quality of life.  I believe that through exposure to certain kind of experiences one is able to develop more sophistication, open-mindedness and social responsibility.  Once exposed, this might even be a seed planted towards improving our lifestyles, and our personality as a People.   On the other hand, maybe as citizens and members of the consuming public should be able to respect, appreciate and take care of places like these. The way I see it, having these spaces are not rights they are privileges.

Banff, Canada: Aside from parks, Banff, Canada boasts of its pristine turquoise lakes from melt water of glacial ice. Tourists and locals alike can canoe in one of these lakes and enjoy the majesty of its surrounding mountains. This experience definitely is one that leaves a long lasting memory that money cannot buy. Are there such experiences in Manila? Perhaps.

Central Park New York: Central Park in New York has a ridiculously huge amount of open space at the heart of the bustling city. The park is kept clean and serves as a breather on weekends for the locals of fast-paced New York. This park is ALWAYS used and New York is not complete without a stroll in this park. Is a tourist’s visit incomplete without a stroll at Luneta Park? I am skeptical.

Trafalgar Square: Trafalgar Square in London is a fine example of a well-used plaza right smack in the heart of the city. This plaza is filled with people, local and tourists alike on ANY given day. It is a space that serves the public and provides quality of life. However, people here are equally responsible for the trash they leave and bring with them. This, in turn is their social responsibility.

 

 

Cocoon-Do on Interior Motives

October 15, 2016

In 2015, Our Chief Design Ambassador welcomed Interior Motives (shown in Channel 23( in Cocoon-Do, and shares how he applied Contemporary Filipino Design in the project.

As seen in http://lifestyle.abs-cbn.com/videos/169/design-tips-easy-ways-to-filipinize-your-homes-interiors/

Considering making traditional Filipino houses such as bahay kubo and bahay na bato as design inspirations for your abode? In this Interior Motives segment, Architect Jason Buensalido shares his insights on how using traditional Filipino houses as pegs for their projects can benefit even the modern Filipino:

1. There’s that homey feel. Buensalido explains that since traditional Filipino houses make use of natural materials, they’re way more cozy.

2. They can unify spaces. Citing “Project Banig” as an example, Buensalido took cues from the banig to create a wall-to-ceiling element that seamlessly unifies the living room with the bedroom. Such peg is perfect for those who have to work with limited space.

3. They give character. While one cannot expect perfect woodwork or stonework, the variations produced by natural materials emit a sense of authenticity, making each area in any home more unique and personal.

 

 

 

TV producer-realtor believes an unsinkable home is a ‘smart’ one

October 8, 2016

by Tessa R. Salazar, as seen in Inquirer and www.inquirer.net on September 10, 2016

John Aguilar is out to prove a point when he decided to build a “flood-responsive” house right smack in a flood-prone city.

The Philippine Realty TV executive producer is all too familiar with Marikina City’s notorious river and the floodwater spilling from its banks during the monsoon season. In 2009, “Typhoon Ondoy” caused record flooding in the city and neighboring areas, inundating the homes of his relatives.

Soon afterward, Aguilar then came up with the idea of building a flood-responsive home that would showcase a design that could be adaptable to flood-prone parts of Metro Manila. That idea was dubbed “Project: Smart Home.” The realization of that idea is a 5-door townhouse, with a floating carport and the so-called Regenerative Amphibious Floating Terrace (RAFT).

“The entire 5-door townhouse has typhoon-adaptive elements (raised house design, insulated walls), but only the model unit at the center has the floatable carport and detachable balcony raft,” Aguilar told Inquirer Property.

Each Smart Home consists of a three-floor townhome. The first floor has space for cars, a covered portion that can be converted into a storage area or a place to entertain guests, a small pocket garden, and the stairs leading to the main entryway of the home. Instead of a communal area at the second floor, the bedrooms are located here, while the living room, dining and kitchen areas are on the top floor.

Estimated cost

Aguilar told Inquirer Property that the estimated cost to build the smart home would be P20,000/sqm, excluding the floatable carport, detachable balcony and solar panels.

Aguilar revealed: “So, the cost comes out the same with traditionally built homes. We only have the special flood adaptive features for the model unit. The cost of the floatable carport, including the metal platform and guide rails, comes out to P500,000. This is a bit high due to the experimentation cost, plus the fact that we only built one, so we do not have economies of scale. We tested it out in the Marikina River to see if it was ‘flood worthy,’ using sandbags and our own weight to approximate the weight of a small SUV.”

The test was successful, and now the townhouse is “100-percent complete and for sale.”

“As a pocket developer, I believe it makes sense to promote the Smart Home now during the rainy season, as it is meant to be a solution to floods,” Aguilar added.

Aguilar’s team partnered with Buensalido + Architects to help develop the “bahay kubo” concept on which the Smart Home is based.

“Since the first floors are the first to go underwater when floodwaters rise, we made sure that the Smart Home is designed to start from the second floor up,” explained Aguilar.

“The open space of the communal area (at the 3rd floor) is where those who are stranded can stay together while waiting for rescue,” he added.

Aguilar said these areas are “usually where most expensive appliances and electronics, like the TV and refrigerator, is kept, so keeping it on the top-most floor safeguards it best from severe floods.

“One of the problems we noticed during Ondoy was that people who were stranded on their roofs had no access to food and water. With the kitchen on the topmost floor, stranded residents will still have access to food and water.”

Amphibious terrace

The floating carport consists of a platform that a car rolls onto in the parking area. When flood comes in, this platform is designed to float, with the car on top. The RAFT, on the other hand, is a floating balcony connected to the second level. It can be detached from the entire structure and float should floodwaters rise, thus helping residents escape to safety.

“Through ‘Project: Smart Home,’ we found a way to integrate the idea of flotation platforms to existing parts of the home to come up with a climate-adaptive real estate property model that effectively responds to a rapidly changing world,” Aguilar stressed.

Aside from the floating mechanisms and some clever repositioning, Aguilar also used panel systems containing an EPS core—more commonly known as Styrofoam—to insulate the Smart Home from the heat of direct sunlight, allowing the structure to retain a generally cooler indoor temperature akin to that of an icebox. Solar panels and LED lighting were also used to keep the house’s carbon footprint to a minimum.

“What we’re doing with the project is that we’re injecting technology and innovation into home designs, using these out-of-the-box ideas to help make homes in the country more flood and climate-responsive,” said Aguilar.

“We can’t wait to see how homes across the Philippines can adopt our ideas, and see this kind of change affect the country’s responsiveness to drastic changes in our climate,” he added.

Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/214727/tv-producer-realtor-believes-an-unsinkable-home-is-a-smart-one#ixzz4KzGty6G7

Preview’s Creative IT List

October 6, 2016

We are proud to share that Design Ambassadors and two out of the three partners of Buensalido+Architects are part of this year’s Creative It List! Read about it below.

“Architects Nikki and Ems are two of the three partners that run Buensalido+Architects, with the collective purpose to contemporize Filipino architecture thru progressive and contemporary propositions that are always coupled with authenticity, preservation of sense of place, and respect for context.

Both graduating with honors (Nikki is a magna cum laude and Ems is a cum laude), they are no stranger to excellence, which they naturally apply in running the firm, constantly finding ways to evolve. Part of this is to ensure a culture of collaboration, where design democracy is practiced and a multiplicityf ideas is produced with their teams, in the end being narrowed down through the sifting process of design thinking. Almost like curators of the firm’s design solutions, they always ensure that any proposition of the firm addresses the basic parameters of a project (such as function, budget, and practicalitywhile ensuring that their structures would inspire, lift the spirit, and give hope. This stems from their personal optimism and belief in a better future, a belief that they share with others thru their architecture.

They extract the metaphysical aspects of the Filipino culture and decipher how it can be applied in architecture. Summed up as “Four Points of Philippine Culture in Architecture”, these are : Responsive Vernacular Models (the babahayubo and the bahay-na-bato), Weaving, Personalization, and Weaving. As a team, constantly cross-checking and challenging each other’s thoughts, they have helped develop a stringent process, half intuitive and half scientific, that ensures that all of their projects express these four points of the filipino culture in varying degrees. They believe that thru this authenticity and honesty about cultural identity, that our cities will eventually be able to offer a unique urban experience that flaunt local flavor in a contemporary way, something that can only be felt in the Philippines.”