If you’re looking for a one-stop place for small gatherings, hearty meals and home decors, then look no further than 1120 House. Located in Metropolitan Compound, Amapola corner Estrella Streets, Makati City (behind One Rockwell), 1120 House is a new retail store with three brands under one roof, namely: Bon Appetit Café at the House, Rustan’s Flower Shop and Lady Scott Jones.
For Architect Jacy Medina, the main objective was to transform the former “The Metro Club” – once a model unit & showroom. The existing property in itself was very unique to the area and showed a lot of potential. It was situated in an area where it had the access from the main road and could open up to the huge trees while keeping its distance from the noise and the traffic. Surrounded by a pool that could create space for the rear. It also had a really old and gorgeous tree in between the main structure and the service area that could pose as that focal point of the interior space.
Large arched windows give a great view of surrounding vistas, inspired by the French bistros and cafes. The arches carry throughout the interior, including the big center arch window found at the center of the main dining and which frames the old tree nicely sitting in between the kitchen annex and the main dining.
The team of Open House Design Studio chose a textured concrete finish for all exterior and interior wall finishes – a more rustic and organic material – with the objective of making it feel more casual and less intimidating. They simplified the form of the Metro Club, whilst keeping the existing structural frame as the spaces already allowed for the right area zoning for all 3 brands.
As with all the spaces Open House Design Studios take on, they aim to mix materials that complement each other. It’s finding simple and organic materials that will make for a clean canvas, then using materials such as natural stone, brass and metal as accents which then adds strength and sophistication to any space.
With the help of Craftsmith Guilds team, the space was then transformed to make it feel like a home. Landscaping to create balance and soften the materials and used as a visual bridge to connect to the lush and mature landscaping that is located outside of the property. Space properly zoned for the 3 brands for each to function separately and yet connected as if moving through one room to the next of a home.
In this Exclusive Interview with BluPrint Editor-In-Chief, Geewel Fuster talks with Pam Lopez about her insights and anecdotes as to what 1120 House is all about.
BP: What does 1120 House stands for? Any meaning behind the name?
Pam: We wanted the name of the space to have that ‘house number + street name’ identity, as you would your own home address. When we asked the number of the building, the landlord couldn’t quite recall what it was (at that time, at least). So we thought of the birthday of our matriarch, owner, and my mother-in-law Mrs. Menchu T. Lopez. What better way to celebrate her than by paying homage to her and giving November 20 a new meaning altogether. Now, it works as the building or house number too!
BP: Pam, you dressed the entire place (a structure that used to be a clubhouse) effortlessly chic! What were your design considerations integrated in this project aside from the obvious insertion of your personal taste on it?
Pam: I cannot take the credit for dressing the entire place as this was a collective effort between myself, Craftsmith Guild, and Open House Design teams, respectively, and endorsed by Mrs. Lopez, who was heavily involved in construction and its nuances. It needed the architectural and technical work of Arch. Jacy Medina and the interior artistic direction of Kitty Bunag for the concept to come to life. Of course, it also took hours of conceptualization between numerous pegs and ideas amongst us in order to tie things together cohesively.
BP: How did the concept to combine food, lifestyle and decor come about for 1120 House?
Pam: We felt that it was a stronger retail concept, one that transcended a mono brand concept. We wanted something that felt like one’s home where dining and entertaining in the midst of chic furniture and flora came to play. Since we had all three elements existing in our portfolio furniture shop, flower shop, and food, it made sense to house them, so to speak, in one roof.
BP: Aside from 1120 House being a one-stop shop for small gatherings, hearty meals and decors, how is it different from the typical retail store?
Pam: For starters, we are not in any mall setting. We have our own thing going and can dictate how we want things to be without a standard copy paste regulation of a mall structure – not saying that that’s a bad thing but for our business model having our own structure is but ideal. Above all, I guess, is that 1120 House is experiential. Our guests come, eat and imbibe and frolic with the interiors. For that moment, they form and solidify friendships and relationships, and make memories through food, flowers, and pretty things.
BP: Are there special features of the 1120 House that you want to highlight? How did the designers plan the layout of the store accordingly to your vision?
Pam: What’s entirely unique to us is the fact that we are within the compound of a private club (Metropolitan Club). So you get that exclusive vibe without you knowing it. The view from our Solarium room alone is the pool of the club—very Slim Aarons! Soon, we are opening our outdoor seating, front and back of the House. It’s something we look forward to and a welcome addition to the façade. As for the layout, the overarching theme was really to make it resemble a house, a home. We were also working with an existing structure which was once a showhouse for a condominium. Both challenging for the Architect and also a happenstance.
BP: Seeing how well curated each of the spaces of the store, how important was it to incorporate local furniture and furnishings in this project?
Pam: Thanks to Ms. Bunag for sourcing the furniture for Bon Appetit Café and other parts of the House. She’s a big advocate of LOVE LOCAL and we were very pleased to support it. It has added to the charm of the space. Some of the fixtures were also made locally like the lounge sofa and upholstery. In this day and age, it’s certainly empowering for us in the design and retail spectrum to support local suppliers and small business enterprises. Seeing that their products can be represented in our space is a nod to their industry. It’s a win-win situation.
BP: How is the public’s reception of the 1120 House so far? What is your hope for 1120 House post pandemic time?
Pam: I have to say that we were lucky enough to open at the right time last year when the Covid restrictions were ‘friendlier’—cases were low, alert levels were brought down, and people were vaccinated. We were able to open as if it were normal times, to a degree, as people wanted to go out and explore. That being said, we still hope for the best for our industry and not only for us. We welcome a new landscape in concept retailing and F&B post pandemic for all business owners and consumers. – The public reception has been nothing short of amazing. We not only attract a mature clientele but also a much younger and eager set. I think it’s not only a demographic observation but also a general perspective that the concept of 1120 House brings a wanted respite to city dwellers amidst everything happening around them.
1120 House encapsulates a welcoming home, a brief respite for those who seek pleasure in slowing down, taking time to have a meal, and enjoying the sensorial excitement. It is also a retail store where unique, well-curated pieces for one’s home may be found, trinkets to be kept and flowers to brighten anyone’s day.
1120 House is open daily from 10:30am to 8pm.
Photos by Ed Simon
Floor plans provided by Arch. Jacy Medina