Form Follows Family Tradition
BluPrint|Volume 3 2019

A couple’s desire to bring their kids up with family and Asian values shapes a modern home in Manila

Judith Torres
As a believer of “less is more,” the head of the household wanted nothing “out of this world” for his family’s first home. Since the husband had experience in construction, the wife said she would surrender all design and construction decision-making to him, on one condition: “I said you have to give me storage space for every single thing we own.” Ten years of living in a compact apartment meant keeping a decade’s worth of accumulated belongings on display or in ad hoc containers— not an ideal situation for the wife, a self-proclaimed neat freak.

When the husband hired Singapore-based architect Carlo Joson, he and Joson agreed on a modern brownstone concept— something masculine, boxed, and edgy. The husband’s brief included the need to ensure privacy and security, and to promote closeness within the family—values which resonated with Joson and his Manila-based collaborator, Stephanie Tan-Branquniho, principal of SpaceFabrik, who both also have young children like the clients.

Shelter from surveillance

“The bold and volumetric placement of simple forms creates harmony through its composition,” says Tan-Branquinho about the design she and Joson worked on. Following the mandate for security and privacy, the house reveals little to observers outside about its contents and layout.

Viewers may not detect right away that the home has three levels, as the façade is covered by a large square of travertine flanked by a taller rectangular plane of glass, without tell-tale divisions marking where the three levels start and end.

A panoramic window slices low through the square stone wall, but it is sufficiently elevated from the street level to avoid divulging that the space behind it houses the living room. Meanwhile, a concrete beam bisects the glass plane on the right, giving off the impression the house has only two stories. It’s a neat feat of architectural dissembling.

Shelter from heat and noise

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLUPRINTView All

Windows Over Windows

It’s what you do when you’re a green-loving architect like Formzero’s Cherng Yih Lee, and your client isn’t interested in the forest outside

5 mins read
BluPrint
Volume 4 2019

The Office Of New Life Stories

D-Associates Architect’s office building in Jakarta is just how principals Gregorius Yolodi and Maria Rosantina want it— green, creative, and nurturing—just as they want their team to be

5 mins read
BluPrint
Volume 4 2019

Stark Beauty

When you’ve got great bones designed by Park + Associates, the structure should be the architecture

4 mins read
BluPrint
Volume 4 2019

Sunday's Best

Willis Kusuma’s multi-functional Mister Sunday elevates the Jakarta café scene with the timelessness and formal honesty of concrete

4 mins read
BluPrint
Volume 4 2019

Brut Force

Raw concrete is experiencing a renaissance, but how compatible is it with tropical weather? Jakarta-based architect and frequent concrete user Willis Kusuma responds

6 mins read
BluPrint
Volume 4 2019

Workaholics Finish First

Bangkok’s Architectural Studio of Work-Aholic (ASWA) takes their first stab at WAF and counts on the power of spatial storytelling to take home the prize

3 mins read
BluPrint
Special Issue 2

People Obssessed With Design

Park + Associates: Crafting architecture with good bones and spaces that resonate with individuals

5 mins read
BluPrint
Special Issue 2

Firm Follows Feeling

Bangkok-based landscape architecture firm P Landscape emphasizes the human experience and feeling through contemporary integration of art, culture, and ecology

5 mins read
BluPrint
Special Issue 2

Tried and Tested

WAF and INSIDE multi-awardee Hypothesis’ researchintensive approach produces complete design solutions that are anything but formulaic

2 mins read
BluPrint
Special Issue 2

Crew's Control

Young Thai studio Creative Crews finds a worldwide audience for three very different projects: a rural homestay, a classroom for the blind, and their own office, all indicative of the practice’s adaptive design solutions

5 mins read
BluPrint
Special Issue 2
RELATED STORIES

UNITY IN A WORLD OF DIVERSITY

BRIAN JONES explores unity in a world full of challenges and diversity. Through different analogies and his own personal experience with meditation, he finds effective ways to achieve unity through the silence of the heart.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
May 2021

Keep Singapore's Books Clean

The city-state wants to prove it’s safe not just for wealthy tycoons but for investors, too

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 15, 2021

José Jeuland 2020 BIG SURPRISES

It was the end of 2019, welcoming the year 2020 when I told myself that it would be a great year

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
December 2020

Keeping Up With the Lees

SINGAPORE IS NOT A MODEL FOR AMERICA.

10+ mins read
Reason magazine
January 2021

On the Rise

Premium economy soars in popularity and profitability for airlines.

5 mins read
Global Traveler
Class Act 2020

What You Don't Know About...Singapuras

Good Things Come In Small Packages

6 mins read
Cat Talk
June 2020

Pushing the BOUNDARIES of Creativity

The studio offers unlimited options and creativity.

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
May 2020

Do You Really Want a Flying Car?

It's the year 2020. So where are all the flying cars? The vast majority of people still get to work and school in boring, ground-bound cars. Not to mention buses, trains, and bikes.

2 mins read
Muse Science Magazine for Kids
May/June 2020

Leading the Way

Singapore balances priorities as it forges a sustainable future.

7 mins read
Global Traveler
April 2020

Felipe's Mexican Taqueria

Everyone has a handful of go-to restaurants they count on for consistently delicious dining experiences.

3 mins read
OffBeat Magazine
February 2020