Check Out How This 1970s Pasig House was Transformed for the 21st Century
Standing on a dead-end street in an exclusive village in Pasig, this house can captivate anyone who passes by, with its unique structure and a beautiful façade that’s reminiscent of homes abroad. Would you believe that it took years before architect Pierre Briones of BRIOArc Studio and the owner achieved its current look? We’ve been to homes that took months to finish and a few spaces that required an even shorter renovation period, but this property stands out for all the good reasons. It’s a continuous work in progress—they took their time in making the right decisions, adjusted the layout to maximize the space, and completed it with well-thought-out pieces. “Maintaining a home is a never-ending process. It needs to adapt to the lifestyle of the owners,” shares Pierre. From the minimalist, Japanese-inspired exterior, the interiors showcase a balance between Scandinavian and tropical influences. Since the owners love having friends and relatives over, the overall feel is bright, open, and inviting.
With natural light streaming in from the windows and glass doors, it’s hard to imagine that the common areas used to be dark, gloomy, and cramped. In a before photo shared by Pierre, only a few details were retained like the arched walls. While transforming an outdated house into a modern space seemed like a huge undertaking, the whole project went smoothly as it’s a happy family affair. Pierre and the owner are cousins, another cousin who is a landscape architect worked on the outdoor area, and rounding up the dream team is Pierre’s brother as engineer/builder. “We’re lucky to be able to work together on this project. It gives me the freedom to do what I want and there’s transparency as well. We complement each other, tell each other if may hindi maganda, may give and take,” adds Pierre. Be inspired to build your own dream home and take a virtual tour below:
Prior to the renovation, the house looked like a typical house with a gate and a garage. To maximize the space, the architect knocked down the old fence then moved the main door and a few windows.
Look closely at the before and after photos of the facade. It's quite difficult to imagine that the house used to have a gate and a garage. The current exterior of the home highlights a minimalist feel, reminiscent of Japanese homes. Meanwhile, the towering tree and presence of various plants add a calming touch to the property.
The addition of wooden details balance out the raw, cement finish of the home's exterior creating an inviting feel. Since Pierre and the owner decided against having a fence, the house looks bigger and more open. Plants provide extra privacy while helping achieve the tropical vibe. According to Pierre, the house looks extra dramatic at night, especially when the lights are on and the silhouettes of the louvers are seen.
A customized wooden sliding door serves as the home's main entrance. "We originally wanted a metal sliding door, pero masyadong mabigat. The door was customized by BRIOArc and the owner's trusted skilled workers," shares Pierre. Just a few steps to the right is another door leading to the garden.
Who wouldn't want to plop down on the sofa and catch up on movies? The living area is cozy and relaxing, with wooden touches that complete the tropical-inspired look. From this angle, you can see how the door extends to create a beam, an accent that Pierre thought of to achieve continuity. Before the renovation, there used to be a swing door in place, however, since it bumps against the furniture, they had to go with the sliding door option.
Meanwhile, the owner wanted to have an accent wall in the living area. Pierre chose to work with wood, to create a seamless look. A glass door can be seen on the right, letting in natural light while giving guests a view of the vertical garden.
The architect chose to remove the old ceiling entirely, then installed wooden beams as support. These beams add to the bright and spacious feel of the home. "By totally removing the ceiling and adding a window for dramatic lighting, we were able to achieve cross ventilation," explains Pierre.
Completing the living area are a compact coffee table, a gray sofa, and a couple of designer chairs, one of which is the famous Eames Lounge Chair Wood.
The design team shared a photo of the living area before the overhaul. The space looks dated and uninviting, with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories.
Since the owners love to entertain, an open layout was chosen for the common areas, allowing the owners and their guests to go from one area to the next with ease. From this angle, one can best appreciate the tall ceiling and the natural light streaming in from the windows. Lanterns in different sizes add a whimsical feel and further illuminate the space.
To say that the house is full of character would be an understatement. The owner has books, works of art, and even clothes on display, adding personality to every nook and cranny of the home. According to Pierre, the owner loves to travel and he makes it a point to bring a must-have for the home as souvenir from his trips. What makes it very Filipino are the chairs: You can sit anywhere you like, start a conversation, and feel right at home.
Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, the Barcelona Chair is one of the investment pieces in the space. There's a fine balance between designer pieces and unexpected finds in the home as beside the Barcelona Chair is a steel cabinet with wooden details purchased from S&R.Â
In renovating the home, Pierre retained a few details, like the marble flooring and arched walls, and updated most of the elements to achieve the desired look.
This window was moved and created to let in natural light and give a view of the refreshing greenery. Since the home is in a constant state of updating, the seating pieces are often rearrangedâsome even come from the owner's other properties.
Reminiscent of windows seen in vintage homes, the wooden window is another BRIOArc customized piece. It perfectly complements the wooden touches in the space.
The dining area stands out, with designer chairs as seating pieces. The Wishbone Chair and the Eames Chair stand out, sprucing up the compact nook.
An open kitchen is a given choice for a family who loves to entertain. The addition of two metal barstools instantly turn the countertop into a breakfast nook/bar. To make it more functional, the countertop has compartments underneath to serve as storage for dinnerware.
Some of the details retained by Pierre include the recessed ceiling and cornice defining the dining area. To separate the open kitchen from the other common areas, a change in flooring can be seen. From the marble flooring of the living and dining areas, wood was chosen for the kitchen to achieve warmth.
The open kitchen adds to the airy and spacious look of the house while the generous countertops and the island in the middle make the kitchen ideal for cooking and hosting get-togethers. Aside from this spacious nook, there's another cooking area at the back of the house where most of the meals are prepared.
Reminiscent of the lush garden outside, green patterned tiles were used as backsplash. The cooking area is kept clean and organized, with small appliances moonlighting as accents in the space.
Adding personality to the home are the owner's collection of books and other knickknacks. These wall-mounted shelves complement the look of the home, with its wood and metal details.
The owner's personal space is beyond snug. Using neutrals makes it even more relaxing, as gray curtains and sheets were chosen for the space. Echoing the look of the rest of the home, there's an interesting lighting fixture, an accent chair, and a storage piece.
Customized by BRIOArc Studio, the shelf highlights the clever use of pipes and wood to create a shelf that doubles as an accent. It holds books, various essentials, and framed pieces.
A sliding door from the bedroom leads to the closet/bathroom where the owner's prized shoes are kept. Using storage bins bought in Japan, the owner was able to organize his collection and maximize the available space.
Would you believe that the bathroom used to be the bedroom? Pierre reworked the layout to create a more functional space. "From the initial stages we really assessed all areas to see if we need to replace anything. The bathroom is one of the major changes we did since it used to be a bedroom," he shares.
For a cohesive look, the bathroom showcases cement finishes, with two sinks, two mirrors, and wooden counter. The shower area is separated from the toilet.
From anywhere in the house, you have a view of the outdoors, thanks to the big windows and glass doors. In the sleek and simple home office, we're sure the owner can focus on work given the soothing view of the garden. He also has his own door leading to the front of the house.
With a garden as spacious and beautiful as this, parties surely last for hours! One of the owner's cousins who is a landscape architect worked on improving the area, bringing it to life with plants and other greens.
The room found a few steps from the setup belongs to the owner's mother. Behind it is an open outdoor bathroom.
The look is rustic, with an overall serene vibe that's perfect for get-togethers. Even when there's no party to be held, the open space still has a lot of advantages as it can be used as an exercise or lounge area.
Potted plants and succulents are neatly displayed on a shelf. The pathway on the left leads to the main door, while the one in the middle leads to the living area. This is the original spot of the bathroom, which Pierre moved to create an access to the house and garden.
This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.