Arqon Design Conveys Modern Industrial Architecture Through Casa Peñafrancia - BluPrint

Arqon Design Inc., a Manila-based architectural firm, recently completed Casa Peñafrancia. The 454 square meter residential property is intended to be a weekend home for a well-traveled client who desires a low-maintenance structure with design elements inspired by their travels. Comfort, manageability, and practicality are at the forefront of the client’s aspiration for the modern industrial home. In accordance with a second set of instructions, the architects were to design something distinctive yet subdued. As a response, architects Chino Buitizon, Manny and April Pulido, the trio behind Arqon, designed a home anchored on strong forms yet light in volume. The team and the client agreed on using steel, concrete finishes, and natural wood in neutral and dark colors with clean and simple lines.

The lot’s shape presented the architects with the initial challenge, as parts of it tapered to as narrow as one meter. To address this, individual structures were zoned around the site’s various corners, each serving its own purpose while remaining symbiotic. The main residence and pool area are the first structures visible upon arrival. These were placed in the center to emphasize their significance in the space hierarchy. Simultaneously, these structures were pushed to the perimeter to create clear sightlines and a central gathering area. The primary residence has an asymmetrical facade with multiple volumes, full-height glazing, wood cladding, and a raw concrete finish. A cantilevered balcony with a simple railing made up of vertical flat bars above the main entrance provides shade as the day progresses. A retractable electric canopy is installed for simple deployment that does not compromise the façade when not in use.

modern industrial

The ground floor features an open floor plan with a commanding view of the pool and gardens. The focal point upon entry would be the stepped soffit stairs against the double-height brick wall. This side of the wall is elevated by a custom built buffet table with quartz countertop and a built-in wine chiller. It conceals the entertainment system, internet modem, and electrical panel board. Furthermore, a modern ten-seater farmhouse dining table with a pair of “kabisera,” reminiscent of old movie theater seats, adds character to the space.

“We used full length bi-fold doors on three sides to really open up the space. Complementing grey tiles were used to visually connect the indoor with the outdoors. And while being visually connected to the outdoors is important, we chose double pane windows and doors for sound isolation. Aside from having better thermal insulation critical for a south south-east facing structure, we also considered its good sound insulation qualities for different situations that the space maybe used.”

Arqon Design Inc. on achieving the indoor-outdoor feel

The second level is a private space for the client, anchored by a peninsula counter with a waterfall edge in white quartz that serves as a dining bar and separates the kitchen and living area. From the eaves to the interior, the ceiling is finished with solid merbau wood panels, achieving a warm and intimate atmosphere fit for the area. A sliding frosted glass wooden door separates the adjacent bedroom. The wardrobe, made of repurposed wood, binds its opposite sides. From here, you can access a balcony with a sweeping view of the property. The team used double pane glazing and a stone coated roof to ensure the main house has good heat and sound insulation.

Opposite the main residence is a glass mosaic tiled swimming pool attached to a heated jacuzzi with massage jet function. The outdoor element is elevated by a raised deck for lounging that is bordered by bamboo trees. In addition, a small casita sits to the right of the main house, equipped with a small sitting area and a full bathroom.

Casa Peñafrancia is furnished with a full outdoor kitchen and bar finished in polished concrete for easy maintenance and longevity. Machuca cement tiles in the bar area complement the concrete floor and create a visual variety. Additionally, portions of the wall were constructed with ceramic blocks to improve airflow and reduce humidity in these areas. A corridor parallel to the outdoor kitchen and powder rooms leads to the second casita’s entry courtyard. The second casita was originally intended to be a storage space, but was converted into the property’s largest ensuite, which can accommodate eight to ten guests. The entry courtyard and minimal window placement on the south-southwest side of the area help reduce heat gain from the afternoon sun.

Muted colors accented with dark shades of grey and raw concrete characterize the modern industrial house’s interior spaces. An intimate ambiance was achieved by using warm colored wood. The industrial appearance of the structure was softened by the well-curated furnishings. Each piece was meticulously curated to reflect the owner’s aesthetic. Steel, wood, and textured surfaces are prevalent from the ceiling to the walls. Warmth and depth are added to the modern industrial home by the seamless integration of all architectural elements.

Ultimately, the Plontur Group’s thoughtful landscaping plan unites the entire property. The uncomplicated Japanese landscape design, with its fine-leafed species, bamboos, and boulders, ties the entire area together in a harmonious way. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the chosen planting scheme also provides a measure of personal privacy for the home’s occupants.

Project Credits/Info:

Gross Built Area: 270sqm + 103sqm (pool and deck) 

Project Location: Limay, Bataan

Client: Ms. Selina Paola L. Gabriel 

Architecture and Space Planning: Arqon Design Inc. 

Landscape Architecture: Plontur Group 

Sub-contractor: ISF Corp. 

Collaborators: Ms. Ana Batungbacal and Mrs. Peñafrancia Gabriel for interiors. 

Pool Contractor: Elamparo Swimming Pool Specialist 

Other notable suppliers: Triboa Bay Living, Madera Lifestyle Concepts, Vintage 

Hardware, Multi-Line Corp., Machuca

Photos: Arqon Design Inc.