Urban Zone: Modern tropical house



Here’s a house we featured in Urban Zone last month. It was designed and built by father and son architects – Mike and Paul Pena. We’ve shown many of Mike Pena’s work in UZ and all of them have been striking and impeccably done (in Tagalog, pulido).

This house is pretty incredible. It looks like a bungalow from the front, but it actually has four storeys, since the property slopes down dramatically. And to those who will probably ask – I have not included a photo of the facade.


By the front door. Those horizontal slats beside Mike open into a deep wind chamber that allows ventillation in the lower part of the house.


At the foyer. Check out the double doors – it’s a door within a door, much like the ones in old churches.


The beautiful kitchen is completely open to the dining room and to the view of the entire property.


Since the stove is on the island counter, a special wooden casing for the range hood was created.


This is the view from the kitchen – a giant one-piece wooden table (from Indonesia, gosh the tree!) and the view of the surrounding area.


A wide shot of the foyer, kitchen and dining areas.


A modern sungkaan (a traditional Filipino game).


Paul explaining the idea of keeping the spaces open by having vast windows with “no corners.” Another one-piece enormous wooden coffee table.


The upper balcony  (there are several)


I really hate that our wireless lapel mics were broken that day. I had hold this obtrusive microphone. But anyway, this shows one wall of the master bedroom.


Wooden sliding doors with kamagong slats allow the continuous flow of air through the house.


View from the back of the house – showing the pool and the four floors.


Very interesting feature of the swimming pool, a trickling water feature surrounding the jacuzzi.


The infinity pool.


Modern asian home




This is the house we showed in Urban Zone last Friday July 8, 2011. The architect, Alex Co, has shown a lot of his work in our show and he actually has gotten a lot of projects from the exposure. We’ve had viewers from Europe and North America who’ve commissioned Alex to design their homes back in the Philippines. He has developed an expertise in modern tropical/asian homes but he can actually do a wide range of styles.

Here is one of the newest homes he’s built – for a couple with three grown children. The property is around 600 sqm, with a gentle slope down. The main floor houses the living, dining, kitchen and prayer room. As well as the master bedroom – which shows great foresight on the owner’s part. Aging is a part of life that we cannot escape. They want accessibility and comfort later on. The top floor are the children’s bedrooms and library. The lower ground opens up into the garden. (Pardon the photos, I had my Leica D Lux 3 and it was on a wrong setting, so Denmark my segment producer couldn’t get the clarity he wanted. Otherwise, it’s a really excellent camera).


A stone wall divides the living room from the dining area.


An unusual set up. Most homes devote their high cathedral ceiling to the living room. But this family chose to give all the openness to the dining area.


Lamps over the dining area.


Chairs and table by Agi Pagkatipunan.


The dining and kitchen areas share one space. Great concept.


I love that the kitchen is surrounded by lots of windows and greenery.


This is actually just their “show” kitchen. Very little work goes on here on a daily basis. Behind that fridge…


… is their “dirty” kitchen, or what architects and designers now call “working” kitchen.


I was in a bit of a rush when I thought of taking a photo of the working kitchen. So I didn’t get to move our tripod. And I obviously was very careless in snapping this photo. But I just wanted to show you that their secondary kitchen is pretty cool too, in my books.


Characteristics of a tropical home include outdoor living and a lanai. Here is the first lanai on the upper ground floor adjacent to the dining area and kitchen. It’s also accessible from the master bedroom.


Below the upper lanai or balcony is the garden.


Instead of a swimming pool, the owners opted for an 8-seater jacuzzi.


Every part of the house tries to maximize natural light and views.


The upper floor which looks down into the dining area and garden.


I hope you are enjoying Urban Zone on Friday nights, albeit very very late, on ABSCBN. UZ schedules on The Filipino Channel vary per region.



Cath Kidston Home Decor