Posts filed under "Architecture"

#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.)

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

Snippets from B+Abble

June 12, 2016

Hello friends of B+A!

We just wanted to share with you snippets of what happened during our last B+Abble, held at A Space Palet Express along Pasong Tamo in Makati, last May 28, 2016.

B+Abble is a self-initiated series of talks on Contemporary Philippine Architecture and Design. Our aim is to share our thoughts on how we and our collaborators use innovative, unique, and progressive thinking to ensure the relevant evolution of Philippine Architecture and Design.  We aim for culture and identity of the Filipino to be reflected in our spaces and environment, an experience that is distinctly and uniquely our own and can never be experienced in any other part of the world. We hope that by doing this, we inspire others and hopefully get them to join our crusade in securing the future of the state of design in our country.

The last B+Abble was a well attended event, as it was opened to anyone who was interested in design. We had B+Abblers from different walks of life – fellow architects, corporate offices, interior designers, landscape architects, graphic designers, students, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and property developers.

Our speakers this year were an interesting group of design-related professionals coming from different backgrounds: Kris Abrigo (visual arts), Vince Lim (landscape architecture), Ems Eliseo (architecture), Ric Gindap (branding and strategy), and Jason Buensalido (architecture).

Enjoy the pictures! For the B+Abblers who were there, feel free to share! For those who weren’t able to make it, we hope to see you in the next one!

Our dashing and beautiful Design Ambassadors welcome our guests at the registration table

Arch Nikki Boncan-Buensalido opens B+Abble with a prayer, along with our youngest B+Abbler, Annika Buensalido

Our host, Samantha Sales of Dreamlist, welcomes our B+Abblers and officially opens the Talks!

Vince Lim spoke about the state of Landscape Architecture in our country, and how "malasakit" is integrated in BCL Asia's company values and designs.

Kris Abrigo revealed how he is drawn to architecture, and how he integrates its elements in his art.

Ems Eliseo (B+A VP for Operations) asks how one defines beauty and its relevance to design.

Jason Buensalido closes by asking "What is the future of Philippine Architecture and Design?"

BluPrint EIC Judith Torres

Edna Del Rosario of Isla Palma Resort and Jardin De Miramar

B+Abblers.

And even MORE B+Abblers!

Our speakers. From them and from the B+A Design Ambassadors - Thank you for coming!

 

We hope to see you at the next B+Abble!

The event wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic speakers, B+A Design Ambassadors,  A Space Palet Express (venue),  Design For Tomorrow (graphic design),  Chris Yuhico (photography); and our past and new B+ABBLERS!

Thank you to our supporters Spurway Enterprises and Filipinas Paint.

Use of Indigenous Filipino Materials and Methods in Building Green Homes

October 16, 2015

(We recently did a collaboration with Lamudi.com, and we’re sharing with you what they had to say on Filipino building materials and sustainable designs, feel free to share your thoughts with us too!) 

Upon close inspection of local real estate, it can be observed that current housing trends follow the exemplars of American and European designs. However, many of these, though impressive, are not always ideal for our tropical climate.

Many lead to significant energy and operation costs, and the continued increase in building materials’ prices already pose a challenge during building. Despite modern developments providing more affordable solutions, not all are necessarily sustainable.

Remarkably, the greenest methods and materials may not actually come from foreign influence or future advancements, but from local ingenuity, history, and natural resources. Leading real estate website Lamudi enumerates just some of these indigenous materials homebuilders can use.

Bahay Kubo

The Sawali Design Cue

Favored in a tropical country, the bahay kubo had always been designed to deal with heat, humidity, and floods. Bahay kubos are built lifted from the ground or on stilts, allowing air to circulate from the under the house, helping keep it cool, as well as avoid significant flood levels.

While the indigenous concept, commonly referred to as the sawali, seems simple, it remains effective today, with existing bahay kubos naturally cooler than modern condos and houses. With the property type, space, and landscape permitting, the sawali can easily apply to contemporary homes.

Contemporizing the Bahay Kubo is a challenge that gets us going. We tried to extract the principles of a Bahay Kubo and applied it in a more modern context

Bamboo

Bamboo comprises 80–90 percent of a bahay kubo. The material is very versatile, used as strips, split, or whole timber varieties. Unfairly given the moniker of “poor man’s lumber” and relegated for use in furniture, bags, and wall décor, bamboo has experienced a renaissance as a building material thanks to increased public interest in going green.

Technology has allowed bamboo to be cured, where it is soaked in special solutions that eliminate the starches that make it susceptible to fire and termite infestation. It also preserves the material, allowing it to last for as long as 30 years.

 Rice Hull Ash Cement (RHAC)

Of course, it is no longer practical to build a full-on bamboo bahay kubo, particularly in the metro, due to the risk to fire safety and durability. Concrete is essential for modern homes, and given that the standard variety has ingredients of volcanic origin, it can be costly, particularly in copious amounts.

Fortunately, the ash from rice hulls or husks is an affordable and effective substitute. When burned between 700 to 750 degrees Celsius, the ash from palay coverings offer binding properties that make it a suitable additive to cement solutions. Since rice is a common crop in the country, RHAC building materials are easy to sustain.

Coconut Lumber

While palm trees have grown in the different parts of the Philippines since the early portion of the 20th century, these were primarily just for the harvesting of coconuts. When trees stopped bearing fruit, it was commonly just felled to give way for the plantation of new trees.

With the increase in prices of more commonly used lumber variants, recent years have seen the exploration of palm trees as an alternative source. The once low valued senile coconut palm trees have since been promoted as a source of income for the lumber industry, with the material a source of veneer and numerous building products.

We wanted to introduce the Spirit of Optimism and Community with these houses that will hopefully be built in Tacloban

Santol Wood

Quite common in the Philippines, santol is mostly known for its fruit that is popularly consumed and used as an ingredient in places all over the country. What most don’t realize is that the tree that the fruit grows from is also an ideal wood alternative.

While the material is comparatively less dense than other wood variants, it is one that is easy to work with and polish. This, of course, is if the lumber was cured correctly. Probably the best feature of high quality wood from santol trees is that it is highly resistant to wood borers, or bukbok. This makes it ideal for use as protective covering or skeletal framework.

Infographic courtesy of the Lamudi team

For more information on Lamudi, visit their website at http://www.lamudi.com.ph

On Sections

October 13, 2015

On Sections

Text and Art Work By Nikki Boncan- Buensalido

(As published in Business Mirror, Urban Monologues 2.0)

I have always had a fascination with sections.  People on different floors do things simultaneously without knowing that they all exist at a certain point in time.  In the field of architecture, sections are equally as important as elevations and for concept-driven projects, the sections are referenced even more.  Sections depict some of the most intricate details that explain how to construct a structure.  It is interesting to see how these drawings are detailed on paper and how the user’s lifestyle and habits change according to how these sections are designed.

I was at friend’s condo recently and was observing the habits of the condo-dwellers.  As the sun sets and dusk turns into night, I observed that the building comes to life as lights turn on.  It was enchanting to witness a static structure turn into a living organism once the lights turn on- as if revealing its internal organisms.  Not to stalk or anything – but some units turned on their lights, others their television sets, others were in the kitchen preparing dinner and the other in the living room entertaining friends and or having family time together.  It was just alluring to see how different people adapt and change their lifestyles based on how developers and their architects design these urban spaces.  The units are all laid out the same save for a few changes with number of bedrooms and the like but as I sit and watch how each space is used and how each is decorated differently from each other, I realize how creative people can get sometimes even without them realizing it.  They are able to customize the space according to their lifestyle.  They are able to work around conditions and adjust to the parameters dictated by the units themselves.

The same is true with office spaces as I pass the Central Business District and the Fort Bonifacio Skyscrapers and as I observe people on the windows.  The only difference is the usage and the function of the buildings.  In office spaces, instead of couches, TV screens kitchens and bedrooms, desks piled with paper work, conference rooms or brain storming rooms fill each window.  It is fascinating to see how even the lighting preferences differ to people.  Some use warm white and some use daylight. They all have different minds of their own. I tried to imagine and put myself in various perspectives. I imagine myself in one floor and my entire line of sight of the space changes.  In that particular instance, the going-ons in that particular space engulf my presence, you feel the tension, the stress, the business of the office but when I pull away and I change my perspective to that from a person in a distance, I am able to see offices on each floor and how they all function and differ from each other.  You now observe people running to and fro, talking to each other, perhaps making business deals work, perhaps running after a deadline.

The Author’s Illustration of her thoughts as she tries to capture the images running around in her mind. Here, she tries to depict how people on each floor live separately without knowing that they all exist together at a certain point in time. These people are different from each other and have varied taste but share one thing without knowing it – they share the structure that they live or work in.

As we go about our busy days, it is sometimes just nice to look at things in different perspectives and different situations.  Sometimes, insights from these musings are what give daily doses of wisdom.  Looking at different perspectives make us realize what life is all about.  There are always insights that we can extract from these experiences – we just have to be sensitive enough to take in and process these thoughts to make better people, heck better designers and creative individuals in the end.  These are possible instances, thoughts and perspectives where we can draw sources of inspiration as we continually study people’s habits and lifestyles that we, as designers need to take into consideration when it comes to designing for communities that work.