Five hundred square metres for a lot is relatively modest. But in the expert hands of the architect Royal Pineda and designer Budji Layug, it is still a canvas for a creative project as stunning and imposing as one on an area twice or even four times this size. “Be it 500, or a thousand, or more, it is always a challenge to find that feeling of luxury,” says Royal, the other half of top architecture and design firm Budji+Royal.
What works for this project is that this corner lot is open at three sides: two into the roads and one into the park. Only one side has a neighbouring house.
“The owners wanted a house that will represent a blending of their personality and of our design approach: Filipino modern sensibility. They are young entrepreneurs and have only one son,” says Budji. Royal echoes this design directive of their clients and adds: “They also said, ‘We want you to play with it because we want your approach.’ These words about having the freedom to design are music to the ears of an architect and a designer.”
What emerged from the drawing board is a three-storey modern structure, exactly what the owners dreamed their house to be: young, open, luxurious, and tropical.
The ground floor comprises the living and dining areas as well as the open kitchen overlooking the pool and the garden. Sharing the space are the service areas and a three-car garage. “The space was made larger through the employment of mirrors and a double-height ceiling,” Budji shares.
The front door leads to a panoramic open plan. An arresting artwork in attractive Prussian blue, floating on a dividing wall, hints at more simple luxury pieces to come. “The art piece is the choice of the owner,” Royal says. “If they gave us the freedom with the architecture and the fixtures, we invited them to choose the loose items. This way, they work with us in adding their personal touch to their home.” From Budji: “The lady of the house loves the colour blue.” To the right of this space is the 10-seater dining table with a Kenneth Cobonpue chandelier of birds adding a tasteful touch. The dining area features a double-height ceiling. Beside it is the kitchen, which enjoys a view of the indoors as well as the outdoors courtesy of almost all-around glass walls. This is Budji’s favourite spot: “The floating counter also serves like a bar or a buffet for entertaining with a view of the pool.”