Seaside Abode

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


"A VIEW of the sea with some greenery on the foreground and a heritage landmark in the shape of an old lighthouse provide perfect snapshots for an ideal residential location. "

It is quite difficult these days to acquire a prime location for a family’s ultimate retreat but this house in Lilo-an served as a fitting reward for a home owners’ hard work and perseverance.

“My client came from a humble beginning in their provinces and has moved to Cebu to seek greener pastures for their businesses. They stumbled upon this property in Liloan, uniquely situated beside the century-old lighthouse that faithfully beams (light) at night,” says architect Francisco Noel. The architect considered his client’s love for sea and nature as his “benchmark” in coming up with a residential design that truly fits the character of both client and site.

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The humble beginnings of the client, who came to the city from the province to seek greener pastures, is reflected through the simple and minimalist approach in the overall design. This approach also treads along the principle that the building must not be designed “on the site” but “with the site.” The building co-exists with the scenic natural environment by letting its vibrant, organic colors explode uninterruptedly.

The simplicity of the building skin is complemented with dynamic movement of volumes, with protruding walls and wide-reaching terraces that are clearly aimed at giving the homeowners and their guests a magnificent platform of the breathtaking views within the area. The profile of its rustic-looking roof echoes Filipino character, reminiscent of the humble, indigenous dwellings that spoke of the Filipino family, and their warm ties and comforting company.

The arrangement of gables, composed of shingles and tipped with glass, is an architectural abstraction of the foliage of the trees that abound the area. The roof profile is also fitted to the tropical climate, which has an abundant supply of sun and rain.

The planning itself interprets the conceptual blueprint of the building form with its loose layout, relaxing and fitting just right into the L-shaped lot that connects from a road cul-de-sac.

“Sun, sky, wind and panoramic view of the sea” dictated the planning, according to the architect. The main rooms were oriented toward these elements.

“The house is made up of two rectangular blocks or wings with tapered ends fused together by a long rectangular volume, thus forming a letter ‘Z’ floor plan for dynamic and playful schemes,” says Noel. “Open planning was adopted to create an impression of spaciousness with mitered walls sliced by window openings for views and passive cooling. Balconies were added to these spaces, with exterior furnishings to enjoy the natural sunlight and breezes that hovers around it.”

Buildings are not static structures that emerge from verdant fields, rugged hillsides or the seaside with an overly smug and insensitive presence.

The natural assets of the site like views and landscapes would be of no value if a building does not adapt to the myriad conditions of the property.

The architect makes sure that his creation does not only satisfy his client but nature as well. With this seaside house jiving well with the natural elements and allowing its users to appreciate and reconnect with nature, chalk up another refreshing architectural addition to this seaside subdivision up north.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2014.

Lifestyle

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