Designing a dream-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
ARCHITECTS create the most beautiful houses for their clients. Yet there was a common notion some time back that when time came for them to design their own house, they would just end up with a mediocre structure.
It could be a matter of practicality since they know very well the big cost and effort that it would take to build a house. So they come up with just simple buildings to avoid drying up their wallets and reserve their best ideas for their clients. But times have changed and architects are slowly realizing the fact that their own residences would be a great “billboard” for their professional service.
Perhaps taking a cue from this idea, Cebuano architect Severino “Jun” Garces Jr., in collaboration with his wife Angie who’s an architect and interior designer in Hong Kong poured out all their creative juices to come up with their own good looking house. Both working in a competitive firm in Hong Kong, people cannot blame them if they aim for nothing but the best design for their home.
The two-storey “Ghaus,” as the couple call it, stands in a 357-square-meter lot in a subdivision in Talisay City, Cebu. Jun, who’s been working in Hong Kong for 17 years, said that the planning of spaces was custom-fitted to their hectic lifestyle as architects.
“Work demands so much of our time that we need to have a place where we can escape from the fast paced life. This house is built as a refuge from the hectic life. It would be a place of tranquility, a place to unwind, away from the stress and pressures of life. It is a place we can really call home,” he explains.
The ground floor is zoned for active and public spaces, perfect for entertaining guests while the couple “unwinds” with them.
Inspired by the architectural principles of International Style architects Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Corbusier, the building design is focused on the architectonics (volumes and massing) and not much on the decoarative elements. Fifty percent of the lot area is dedicated to open space which includes and landscaped gardens and seating areas. Full-length windows and sliding doors made sure there was enough daylighting in the interiors. For them, this was one way to establish a dialogue with nature while maintaining their privacy.
The private spaces, like the bedrooms, find their niches on the second floor. While a third floor served as a roof deck, which allows them to take advantage of the panaorama of the whole neighborhood on the north side and the natural beauty of the sub-urban landscape towards the south.
The clarity of the interiors dominated by white walls and fenestrations, with colors provided solely by artworks and the views outside, complete the ideal sanctuary for the couple.
Building a house is a long-term investment. A house is a person’s ultimate refuge perhaps until the very last days of his existence. So it is always a must to allot the proper finances, time, patience and most especially the design of the house itself for one to successfully translate a dream into a beautiful and functional architectural piece.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2013.