Here are excerpts from the October 28, 2011 episode of Urban Zone. This house was designed by a husband and wife team. Dominic Galicia, an architect, and his wife Tina Periquet, an interior architect, each maintain their own separate practices. They’ve worked on several projects together before and here is an example of the success they attain when they put their creative minds together.
Here in her own words, Tina Periquet, principal designer of Casa Periquet.
The house was originally built for investment purposes. The owners planned to rent it out upon completion. So we were asked to design a simple, attractive three-bedroom house that wouldn’t cost the earth.
Dom and I have worked together on several other projects, and although we went to the same school (Pratt Institute) and share a passion for design as a means of expression, we differ markedly in our style and approach. We had quite a few tugs-of-war about what this house would look like. One thing we agreed on was that the house needed to appeal to the mainstream market, so it could not be too avant-garde.
Another consideration was the relatively small lot and the owner’s desire for a decent back garden. Lastly, the nearness of neighbors and lack of views made it impractical to have large wide windows except toward the back garden.
Lot size: 410 SQM
House size: 300 SQM
House footprint: 160 SQM
Cost / SQM: 30K/SQM +
I asked Tina about the style or theme. “We all agreed that we didn’t want this house to be another “modern Asian” clone, nor did we want to do a pseudo-Mediterranean villa. As far as possible, we avoid going with any prevailing style, as that is the surest way to date a house. Generally, when we put together all the concepts, solutions and client considerations, our houses tend to design themselves. That said, I will admit that the mostly white-on-white palette was inspired by a recent family trip to the Mediterranean, where the pure white stone and white plaster of ancient and new structures made a deep and lasting impression.”
“We tend to focus, not on style, but on the creation of an experience or the weaving of a story. So at a certain point after we have worked out the space plan and considered all the issues, the house starts to evolve on its own. For instance, we wanted a lot of light and air, while maintaining privacy and keeping out noise, so we ended up with tall, narrow windows and thick plaster walls. We wanted the gracious proportions of an old-world house, which meant high ceilings and tall doorways, rhythmic repeating elements, and refined details.” – Tina Periquet.
Click “More…” to see the rest of the house.
I asked Tina about addressing environmental concerns – “The use of tall windows allows daylight to penetrate deep into a house, minimizing the need for electrical light until evening. Lighting consists mostly of CFLs, although some halogens were used to highlight the art. All air cons and refs are inverter-type, which is more energy-efficient.”
The master bedroom. That little seating area was supposed to be a balcony. Tina and Dominic decided to keep it indoors and turned it into something like a sun room. I also asked Tina about the wood parquet floors, “We minimized the use of wood products in the house architecture. We did use parquet in the master suite, because the owner preferred wood, but we figured that parquet was less wasteful than wood planks, since it uses up the remainders or cut pieces from larger orders.”
Secret to a happy marriage – separate bathrooms! There are two doors behind that matte-black wall accessible from either side. The door on the left is for “her” bathroom – though relatively small, it has it’s own lavatory, water closet and bathtub/shower. It is lined in white marble with the same dramatically high ceiling and long vertical windows. “His” bathroom on the right has the same size and finish minus the bath tub.
“The windows became arched, to soften the strict discipline of the structure. We mounted the curtain rods all the way up, near the ceiling line, so that the drapes create a soft vertical line, leading the eye upward to the arch. Lights are mostly suspended or wall-mounted, to make it easier to change bulbs, since the ceilings are high.” -Tina Periquet.
One of the spare bedrooms, currently being used as a home office. The modular Casa Periquet book shelves hold the owner’s CD collection. Notice this bedroom’s floor? “Tiles are aIt is perfectly fine to use tile as a bedroom floor, as long as it is softened with rugs around the bed area or seating nook. Since this is a hot country, you don’t need a warm floor. Tiles are cool and practical, not to mention fireproof, and come in a large array of textures and tones. The large-format version can be quite elegant. There’s a local mindset that insists on wood flooring for bedrooms. We really need to start rethinking that.”