Filipino homes are becoming more refined with globalization. Yet despite the modern edge, there’s an underlying element of being truly Filipino.
Like many Asian-design houses, the emergence of sleek and sophisticated Filipino architecture followed the trends of adapting to the climate. At the start of the 20th century, Singapore, for example, built bungalows to connect with the climate, and shut out the rain and sun.
In the mid-20th century, air conditioning took over. People designed enclosed houses, and it had an effect on people relying on air conditioning.
In recent years, with the global crisis, Filipino architects and builders have been turning back to sustainability: planting greenery around the house; using less reflective surfaces; extending the roof; making shaded spaces to live in; making one room wide with windows on both sides. Natural ventilation is applied a greater part of the day. In the evening, one closes the windows and hits the aircon for sleeping in.
The coming of the internet has greatly influenced architects’ perspectives over the past years. In the past 25 years, the pace of communication has changed. Now, architects can get ideas from the world in the flash of an eye.
Below are some house styles Filipinos like most.
More commonly known in the West as terraced houses or row houses, townhouse style is one the most common house designs in the Philippines’ urban areas . This house design has dominated the early residential developments in Philippine cities and urban areas as it requires relatively smaller lot area (per unit) and is more economical. This house style is also a popular as rental properties, as starting families opt to purchase or rent townhouse units before moving into larger properties later on.
The term “minimalism” sprouted during the late 1960s and was mainly used to describe architecture that uses natural and pared-down design elements highlighted by simple silhouettes and lines. This type of design also aims to utilize space so it addresses our problems of clutter and the limits of smaller-than-average spaces especially in Metro Manila.
Country-style homes evoke that understated charm, reminiscent of cottage-style houses in Old America, which were heavily influenced by 18th-century European colonists. It has then since been deeply ingrained in American architecture, that it is now the classic template for most traditional homes in the States.
Here in the Philippines, country-themed cafés and coffee shops have been the trend lately. While it has been an “in” thing with these establishments, homebuilders have also been enticed to have their homes built in this fashion, incorporating shabby chic or vintage elements into the overall home design and its interiors.
Heavily influenced by the region from which the home design was named after, Mediterranean-style home designs have gained popularity over the years in upmarket resorts and beach-side properties; and while this is so, it has been getting quite popular with homebuilders and architects, too, because of the refreshing vibe this house design exudes especially if it is built in the middle of a busy city.
Another concept Filipinos adopted from American architecture is mid-century modern design that flourished from the 1940s—an era when two new materials utilized in this type of house design were introduced: steel and plywood. Marked by simplistic and symmetrical patterns (though it should not to be confused with minimalism), it is marked by open spaces, huge glass windows, and the flawless incorporation of nature. This type of house design, along with the Mediterranean-style homes, has shown an increase in popularity in posh subdivisions and upscale communities, especially those outside Metro Manila.
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