Posts filed under "Project Progress"

S House in Urban Zone

May 10, 2014

Sharing with you guys our latest completed residential project, S House, as featured in Daphne Osena-Paez’ webisode of Urban Zone. Thank you Daphne for providing a platform for us to share our ideas and spread our ideas on “Filipino Rennaisance”. Mabuhay!

 

Designing houses in the Philippines can be frustrating a lot of times for us. Since we practice contextual architecture, we do not believe in ‘themed’ residenial developments but instead believe in an architecture that is designed specifically for the place its going to be built, the climate there, and should reflect the culture and identity of the people using it. For this project, for instance, the lot is located within a strictly Mediterranean-themed development. We understand the whole point of having rules and restrictions in a subdivision which is essentially to achieve harmony within it. But since the village had a mediterranean theme, and houses there had little or no eaves, we were being restricted to have a maximum of half a meter for our eaves! This doesn’t make sense at all in a tropical climate because we need eaves and canopies and different architectural contraptions to be as long as they can be to protect our fenestrations from heat and rain (which happens to hit the house horizontally when combined with strong winds).

We essentially designed the house as if we weren’t governed by the theme. We designed it to be honest to it’s site, climate, condition, and client’s pramaters. We started off with the idea that as an owner or designer of a private house, we will never have control over the urban condition that surrounds our property. One day, it may look good, the next day, it may deteriorate because of lack of maintenance. The theme of the village, for example is something we cannot control, more so the attempt of the other homeowners to build a Mediterranean house but most often ending up wth a very poor and tacky copy.

Given this fact, we proposed a house that’s defensive. A house that’s inward looking, and whose back is faced towards the street, and whose spaces all are oriented towards it’s own controlled environment, in this case a courtyard in the heart of the house. By doing this, the spaces between the street and the courtyard become transitory barriers that protect the controlled environment within from being degraded by the uncontrollable harshness that our urban jungle creates such as noise from traffic, pollution, undesireable views, etc.  We used public spaces such as circulation areas as visual and auditory buffers that protect the private spaces from the outside world.

We proposed a house with projecting canopies to ensure the interiors from direct heat gain. We realized that if we push back the building line a bit back relative to the allowable building line, we can have longer eaves and canopies. In combination with this, we made sure that cross ventilation occurs throughout the house. The plans of the house are not deep, therefore making it easy for wind to exit through another opening as soon as it enters.  Even walls that open up to an internal hallway have transom windows, to allow wind to cut through. There is no room in the house whose windows are only on one wall effectibely funneling the wind to cut across the entire length of all rooms.

We proposed a house whose general form is still oriented towards the courtyard, articulated with a series of walls that act as if they were hugging and shielding the internal environment of the house from the outside world, made even more expressive by arraying these fins in shifting angles.

We proposed a house that is honest with its materiality – concrete is shown as concrete – raw and unpainted. Wood is shown with all of its grains and knots. Glass is kept as transparent as it can be. The imperfections of all of these materials remain unhidden.

We took a chance on the design as we believed that it represented the client’s preferences, and the cleint ended up believing in the design so much as well. We submitted the plans to the subdivision with our fingers crossed. Despite the theme,  and with a little push and a bit of argument, we had the design approved. Ever since it was built, the village has now been revising their regulations. The mediteranean theme has slowly been eased out as they realized that it was only a market-driven trend and there are now lesser and lesser people wanting to buld their house in such theme, especially after seeing that an honest house can turn out to be much more beautiful and expressive of who they are than themes that developers set. To cause things to change for the better, some rules should really be aimed to be broken.

Aktiv Sports – Eastwood

October 20, 2012

storefront

"all great artists sign their work" - steve jobs

A few months ago, we were comissioned by the Relzbach Group to do a re-vamp of their store. Aptly called AKTIV, its a brand they developed that carries multiple brands under their wing such as Gola, New Era, Hunter, and Buff, among others.

Given all of these multiple brands with identities of their own, the real challenge was how to make the store look harmonious with all of these brands that have their own identities. Our solution was simple – to develop a module that could function in multiple ways as well, so that it could adapt to the specific need of each product. We started with a display shelf whose dimension was based on a shoe – this box is stackable to display multiple shoes, or be adjusted in dimension, to display products with differnet sizes such as bags and shirts. These boxes were also used as light shelves, to illuminate products that are far from the source of light in stores which is usually the ceiling. The boxes could also be used as signage bands – and with this, a certain visual organization was achieved as even if their logos and signages looked different from each other, the similarity of the module size and configuration that houses these logos are the same.

These modules were then rotated in such a way that it faces the storefront for premium visibility, stacked on each other, to form these “toblerone” shaped display modules (as the client fondly called it), that create an even bigger module collectively formed by the boxes. Sort of like an picture (toblerone) formed by pixels (boxes).

Being a store that focuses on an active lifestyle, we wanted to simulate the spirit of movement. By stamping these toblerone shaped modules throughout the perimeter of the store, a certain rhythm was achieved thru repetition, creating a visually appealing and dynamic atmosphere.

The choice of materials presented much difficulty during construction because of the absence of veneers. Concrete is seen as concrete. Metal is presented as metal. We wanted to achieve a certain kind of rawness in the interiors – the same kind of rawness people feel when they’re active. Call it visual honesty.

the space upon entry

the sales counter

view from the interiors, looking towards the storefront

bench / display

ceiling details - the shape is similar to the AKTIV identity

 

 

 

 

‘The House’ Project, featured in globally renowned websites!

August 25, 2012

Interiors of 'The House' Project

This week has been such a great week for us, specifically for ‘The House” Project, an interior job that we recently completed which happens to be situated in a townhome complex which we also designed. It first came out in trendhunter.com, one of the widely read website that focuses on whatever is the latest on art and design.

Link to ‘The House” Project on Trendhunter.com

'Constellation-Clad Condos', as seen in trendhunter.com

A few days later, it also popped up in Contemporist.com, a leading website when it comes to modern interior, funiture, and architectural design. Though some of our work have already been featured there (Courtyard House, Via Venetto)   we were still so excited to see ‘The House’ Project on this site as it has become a culmination of all our principles and beliefs about how to contemporize Filipino Architecture. Check out the link below:

Link to article in Contemporist.com

Contemporist.com!

One of our goals is really to put back our country in the design map of the world, and we believe that the only way to do that is to stick with our identity and stop trying to be someone else by always desiring archietcture from other countries. Filipino Architecture doesn’t have to be stuck to a literal bahay kubo or a literal copy of a bahay na bato, because there are infinite ways to make it adapt to modern times WHILE reflecting our identity and culture in it. If anyone noticed, NONE of the themed architecture here in our country (Mediterranean, Balinese, Greek, Victorian, etc) have been featured in international design websites. But as soon as there is something distinctly Filipino about the design, it automatically gets recognition – like how Bobby Manosa and Kenneth Cobonpue got international acclaim. That simply means that all we have to do is be honest with who we are, be proud of our identity, make our designs speak about it, and we will be recognized as a strong player in the global design industry.

 

ISLA PALMA @ Jardin De Miramar – under construction

April 18, 2012

Jardin De Miramar is a three-hectare complex in Antipolo that houses multiple garden-like venues for parties, weddings, events, and different functions. Among these unique venues are an outdoor space with a re-constructed 50-year-old fishing boat, a replica of Intramuros (where a lot of pre-nup photoshoots are held), a bahay kubo-inspired thatched pavillion, and Casa Santa – a museum of over 3000 Santa Claus figurines and statues. Within the complex are artwork by the likes of Ed Castrillo, Michael Cacnio, and Reg Yuson.

We were commissioned to design its newest event venue that would hold about 300 – 350 people and would revolve around a swimming pool to create a water-themed structure.

The first time we visited the site, we were struck by  two main things: the vertical rhythm that the coconut trees on site made, and the ever-changing pattern of shadows that their foliage created. We used these cues from nature to give shape to our structure. Dubbed as an “eco-tectonic imprint”, our proposed pavilion simply became an architectural translation of emergent patterns of nature that moved us as we absorbed the characteristics of the place.

perspective of ISLA PALMA

aerial view - showing pavillion, pool, and gazebo

view from poolside

view of interiors