Meet the Men Behind Revolution Precrafted, the Country's First Billion-Dollar 'Unicorn' Startup
"Time is our enemy here at Revolution but it’s also my greatest impetus,” Robbie Antonio says, as we make our way down the narrow hallway that runs through his penthouse office. “We never have enough of it.” A welcome interruption from a lively conversation about all that is upcoming at Revolution
"Revolution will be building four museums designed by four distinct Pritzker Prize-winning architectural firms, so artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, and Jean Michel Basquiat are shown side by side with our very own Ronald Ventura and Poklong Anading."
With every word he utters, he displays the confidence and conviction he has in his own vision. “There is a dearth of space that allows for local, regional, and international art dialogue. I hope that creating four distinct museums with disparate genres would help bolster culture in the country at a minimum, and southeast Asia at large. The greatest thing about culture is that it is universal. Revolution will be building four museums designed by four distinct Pritzker Prize-winning architectural firms, so artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, and Jean Michel Basquiat are shown side by side with our very own Ronald Ventura and Poklong Anading.”
The Hedera Homes designed by Kenneth Cobonpue.
In 2015, Antonio revolutionized art, architecture, and design with the launch of his company, Revolution
Two years later, his young company has evolved from one that builds communities to one that differentiates them, and
Turning two in December, Revolution
Recognized by Artnet as part of The World’s Top 100 Art Collectors for 2016, Antonio has been listed alongside the likes of François Pinault, Steve Cohen, Leon Black, Leonardo DiCaprio, Miuccia Prada, Alice Walton, and Wang Jianlin, to name a few. Recent mentions include Antonio as one of the Twelve Young Art Collectors to Watch alongside
His Nouvel-designed structure will be transformed into a visual art museum and will stand with three other art spaces dedicated to performance art, architecture and design, and art technology. These three additional art spaces will be designed by Pritzker Prize-award winning architects Christian de Portzamparc, Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects, and Kenzo Tange and Associates.
Turning two in December, Revolution Precrafted has become the country’s first unicorn startup. The producer of prefabricated designer homes is one of the fastest companies to achieve billion-dollar status in the Southeast region.
The museums will be situated at the newest Century Properties real estate venture in Batangas, Batulao Artscapes, set to launch later this year. Located 90 minutes away from Manila by car, it is a master-planned development from Century Properties Group that will offer the best of both nature and city conveniences to its residences by transforming 142 hectares of its land bank into an expansive, fully integrated leisure, recreational, retail, and residential destination. This neo-residential art and leisure community will be the world’s first livable art park and will be populated with spaces designed by world-renowned architects and designers from the evolving Revolution portfolio of prefabricated homes, pavilions, and structures.
A rendering of the Polygon House by Ed Calma
For this project, Antonio took the opportunity to work with top Filipino creatives Kenneth Cobonpue, Ed Calma, Budji Layug, Royal Pineda, and Anthony Nazareno to design homes for the community. “Initially, we got international personalities because we launched in America, but now we’re extending the portfolio to the best designers and artists in the country because I happen to be here. We are stringent about the people we get and we collaborate with exemplary people and take them out of their comfort zones. For instance, this is the first house designed by Tom Dixon, Marcel Wanders, Kenneth Cobonpue, and Daphne Guinness. We work with each of them to extrapolate newness and challenge them to hopefully get their most revered work.”
Robbie Antonio, Budji Layug, Ed Calma, Royal Pineda, and Kenneth Cobonpue
Architect Ed Calma has always thought that houses could be manufactured in controlled factories, just like cars, given today’s technology. His Polygon house for Revolution is the beginning of this experimentation. “I wanted the house to be of a single material held together on a steel exoskeleton. I chose an insulated metal panel which can be used for wall and roof as a singular expression of
Similar to Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, who was one of the first to create a home for Revolution
“Initially, we got international personalities because we launched in America, but now we’re extending the portfolio to the best designers and artists in the country because I happen to be here."
Cobonpue tells us that the layout was paramount to him when designing his two-story homes that will be available in two- and three-bedroom configurations, and he went through many drafts until he found the right one. Also important to him was that the homes look different from one another, as he observes that many row homes lack individual character. “Due to limitations in size, there is not much landscape allowed for homes like these, so I thought, why not make the landscape part of the house, or grow
The design partnership of Budji Layug and Royal Pineda envisioned the homes they created for Revolution to be progressive and design-driven while taking into consideration the realities of constructability and cost. The two made sure that their homes were efficient in terms of production and kept to a certain standard of quality.
“We wanted to present something global with our sensibility as modernists and naturalists, and, of course, as Filipinos—something with
Aligned with the sought-after Budji + Royal philosophy and sensibility, the two houses they created were practically conceptualized in the simplest, most efficient manner. The Facet house, characterized by a changing façade, is named as such because the facets can be strategically placed where the sun hits the house. This feature makes the design not all about the aesthetic and visual pleasing but rational, too, as it relates to its natural environment. “We created
The second of their two homes is called the Tranche house, a fully modular house conceived to grow as a family grows. It is made for owners who want flexibility for adding spaces to their home. “We Filipinos like to keep adding,” Pineda continues. “With this
The Facet and Tranche houses designed by Layug and Pineda.
With all that Revolution
The Block by Tom Dixon
Eden by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders
The Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects
Simple by Jean Nouvel
*This story was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Town&Country. Edits and updates have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.