Filipino design firm HANDS frames serene views of Mt. Makiling in Casa Tropica

Casa Tropica by Habúlan and Ngo Design Studio is a tropical hot spring resort situated within the rolling terrains of Calamba, Laguna

  • December 11, 2020

  • Submitted by Habúlan and Ngo Design Studio

  • Images courtesy of Casa Tropica

With a stunning view of Mt. Makiling, Casa Tropica, a hot spring resort development, serves as a respite from the hustle and bustle of the metro. 

Situated on a 1000 square meter property within the rolling terrains of Calamba, the architecture responded to its context. Dictated by climate-sensitive strategies, the design created a tropical design aesthetic through careful space planning and material explorations.

HANDS - Casa Tropica
View of the façade of Casa Tropica. Wood louvers and steel elements in black powder-coated finish articulate the exterior design.
Cleverly manipulated to open up to its vicinity, the roof plane is folded and tapered to become an expressive canopy that covers the structure.

The resort is comprised of two villas, the completed Diwata Villa and the Lambana Villa that are currently under construction. The two villas are juxtaposed in a single envelope: a gesture that pays tribute to the tropical thatch roof prevalent in the Southeast Asian region. The roofscape was cleverly manipulated to open up to its vicinity. Informed by the spaces underneath, and the vistas to the surrounding natural landscapes, the roof plane is folded and tapered to become an expressive canopy that covers the structure and gives identity to the façade. This captures the elegance of the Makiling while creating a transformative roof form defined by architectural programmatic initiatives. 

The simple finishes create a muted background against the lush surroundings of the development.

Seamlessness and segregation were equally considered in the planning and design of the two villas. A secluded hallway leads guests from the main entrance of the resort to a central plaza granting access to either villa. The concealment is immediately contrasted upon entering the foyer in which guests are greeted by an open layout where interior and exterior transitions are blurred. Dining and entertainment spaces are covered by the upper floors yet flow continuously outward to the pool deck and playground. 

Casa Tropica - murals and greenery
Murals by Kookoo Ramos and lush landscaping adorn the perimeter walls of the resort, softening the rigidness of their boundaries.

SEE MORE SUBMISSIONS: Landscape architecture group Plontur marks the boundaries of a modern residence with lush greenery

Multi-level atriums provide a spatial and visual connection for the ground and second levels of the villas. They also bring in daylight and facilitate natural ventilation throughout the building. Woven pendant lights at the atrium accentuate the ceiling height, and further add to the resort’s tropical feel. Family rooms and bedroom suites are oriented around the atrium, each offering a different vista to Mt. Makiling beyond, or to the pool deck below. 

Casa Tropica - Makiling Deck
The Makiling Deck overlooks the resort and connects the Diwata and Lambana Villas.

One permeates the spaces unobstructed—generating a feeling of openness and continuity, both visually and experientially. 

View of the Atrium. Woven pendant lights accentuate the ceiling height and add to the resort’s tropical feel.
Casa Tropica staircase

Finished with wood, concrete, steel, and glass, the resort maintains an aesthetic of simplicity and privacy. Structural steel frames were deliberately exposed to break the notion of the typical resort aesthetic. Along with the steel frames, concrete was used as the main material finish to create a muted background against the lush surroundings of the development. The perimeter walls are lined generously with plants, softening the rigidness of their boundaries. The architecture thus becomes a venue for experiencing verdant context. 

Casa Tropica - swimming pool - HANDS
The swimming pools are filled with natural spring water from the famed mountain, which is also a dormant volcano.

Murals akin to its location were creatively executed at strategic areas within the development—the lady Makiling at the pool area of the Diwata Pavilion, and a bird in flight at the roof deck area—whose unobstructed view of the Mt. Makiling leaves guests in awe. 

Multi-level atriums provide spatial and visual connection for the ground and second levels of the villas. They also bring in daylight and facilitate natural ventilation throughout the building.

In all its simplicity, albeit a  guided formal exploration, Casa Tropica thus creates a  venue for sensory immersion – achieving a  sense of place through an architecture of sensitivity.


Project Information

Project Name: Casa Tropica

Completion Year: 2016

Lot Area: 891 square meters

Gross Built Area: 1, 152 square meters

Project Location: Calamba, Laguna, Philippines

Project Credits

Architecture Firm: Habulan and Ngo Design Studio

Firm Address: 1206 Cityland 10 Tower 2, 154 H.V. Dela Costa St., Ayala North, Makati City, Philippines 1227

Website: https://www.handesignstudio.com/

Contact email: [email protected], [email protected]

Lead Architect: Architect Yonni Habulan, Architect Maricris Ngo-Habulan

Lead Architect’s email: [email protected], [email protected]

Design Team: Arch. Yonni Habulan. Arch. Maricris Ngo-Habulan, Arch. Cyrus Javellana, Arch. Nicole Omac

Clients: Ms. Reese Tirona Rojas, Mr. Carlo Rojas

Landscape: Vermar Leaves and Landscapes

Contractor: Max-xie Enterprises

Consultants/Collaborators: C.A. Rojas Construction Services, Trasbuilt, Inc.

Casa Tropica - site location

READ MORE: Habúlan and Ngo Design Studio’s Common Ground joins the World Architecture Festival long list

 

 

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