House of an Art Collector

Completed 2006

A house in suburban Quezon City had been the childhood home of a young wife.  The project transformed it to become the new childhood home of her and her husband's brood of young children, as well as the setting of their growing collection of modern art.  The new home consisted of the renovation of the existing house plus the addition of a new wing in the rear garden, with a straight unrelenting spine connecting front to back, old to new.  becoming the axis of daily life to help organize the days of this young family.

A new front pedestrian gate carries the diagram of the spine that travels through the house.  It opens into an entrance vestibule that leads to a wood door, which a first-time visitor would naturally expect to be the front door that leads into the house.  The diagram of the spine also suggests the rhythm and alternation of spatial episodes that course along the spine.  

The wood door is the former main door of the house, pre-renovation.  As it turns out, in an episode of surprise, it does not lead directly into an interior space of the house but to an outdoor space that is the front garden, and to the entrance porch steps that lead to the actual front door that opens into the house. 

The front porch also connects to the front garden, and to views of the side garden around the corner of the house.  The surprise of not yet being inside the house is accompanied by the pleasure of seeing a well-tended garden.  Looking at the floor, one notes the alternation of light and dark that delineates floor level differences.


When seen from the front garden, the front door tucks away in a corner, as if it were not a key episode of an unrelenting spine.



The front door opens to a foyer with a black granite floor, preamble to the next step, the edge of the white floor of the main public zone of the house. 



Standing at the front door and looking down the long spine that is the central corridor, one can see the story of the house quite clearly:  the public entertainment zone at left, the service wing at right, and the private residential zone in the distance.



The renovation provided generous walls on which to hang art. 



The piano in the Living Area stands against a divider wall that carries a painting as well as, at the top of the wall, a linear uplight



The column centered on the pair of doors that lead to the kitchen signals a transition in ceiling treatment, from the flat plane that hovers over the Living Area to the more articulated Dining Area ceiling that follows the slope of the roof. 

The ceiling over the Dining Area enjoins the existing roof trusses, now sheathed in white painted gypsum board, to participate in the high articulation of the space.  Instead of a chandelier, the uplights and downlights that are integrated into the ceiling become the celebratory source of light.

Tall French doors connect the Dining Area and the Living Area to the side garden. 

The rear corner of the public zone contains a sliding door that leads to the private zone of the house. 



The white floor of the public zone of the house ends where a black granite step leads to the level of the wood flooring that marks the private zone of the house.



A longitudinal truss, covered in white painted gypsum board, aligns with the ridge of the roof above, underscoring the central spine that runs through the house. 



The private zone with its wood floor includes rooms for the children in the renovated part of the existing house, as well as a Master Bedroom suite in the expansion area beyond. 



A skylight illuminates the anteroom that leads to the semi-circular Master Bedroom suite at left and to a bedroom at right. 



The skylight frames the edge of the roof of the semi-circular Master Bedroom suite.



Standing outside the Master Bedroom suite and looking down the central corridor, one glimpses a hint of the front door in the distance, through the sliding door that separates the private zone from the public zone.



When the separating door slides into its pocket, the front door in the distance reads more clearly at the end of the central corridor. 



The deliberate and thoroughly-considered detailing of essential elements - the air-conditioner cover in the foreground, the gypsum board sheathing of the ceiling trusses above - results in a refined sense of spatial articulation that complements the interests of this art-collecting family.