Certain places are special for some people as they remind them of a beautiful memory. Some couples, for instance, would consider the places where they first met, had their first date, and where they got engaged memorable as they have been a part of special moments in their lives.
For the owners of Richmore Residence, Pearl Farm played a significant role in their relationship as it was where they tied the knot. Designed by Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, the couple will always have an affinity for this place as they are fans of the architect’s works. They enjoy the ambiance of the place and the relaxing atmosphere of modern Filipino architecture. Since they wanted to have a piece of Pearl Farm, they decided to get Mañosa & Company to design their new house.
The couple now lives in a sanctuary where they get to spend quality time with each other and their two sons, especially during the pandemic. Designed with the signature Mañosa touch, the house allows the residents to live slowly and create new happy memories at home.
More Than Just A Place for Sleeping
When the pandemic hit, people around the world spent more time at home than before. This allowed them to appreciate time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Slow living has become a popular concept as people learn to pause and adapt to a more conscious lifestyle.
To the owners of the Richmore Residence, slow living is about enjoying your home and living in it, not just having it as a place to sleep. The couple only understood the concept during the pandemic when everything was shut down. Unlike other homeowners, who had to rebuild their houses to adapt to the new normal, the couple was lucky to have moved into their new home before the nationwide lockdown.
Architect Gelo Mañosa, the lead architect for this project, defines slow living as a lifestyle that encourages a slower approach to a person’s everyday lifestyle. He explains that as architects and designers, they always look at their clients’ needs in terms of physical space and psychological space. They need to understand how space affects one’s mood, emotions, and feelings so they can make design choices that affect human behavior. For him, these aspects make architecture so much fun.
The owners wanted a house that fits their lifestyle and the family’s needs. The house offers a welcoming ambiance, which was a vital factor during the design process. Since they like to entertain guests, the owners don’t want their visitors to feel intimidated when they come in. Instead, everyone should feel at home regardless of their age.
A Timeless Contemporary Filipino Home
At first glance, it is easy to tell that the Richmore Residence is designed by a Mañosa. It features the right amount of greenery and various elements that are uniquely Filipino. Each element showcases fine local craftsmanship, from the custom-designed door to the basket weaving on the ceiling hand-woven at the site.
The project took about two years to complete for good reasons. Some things may take time to finish to last forever. Architect Mañosa’s attention to detail makes the house worth the wait. He ensures every element perfectly complements the house and high-quality materials are used. The result is a contemporary Filipino home that can withstand the test of time.
When it comes to incorporating slow living into his style, Architect Mañosa takes inspiration from the hospitality sector which his firm has always championed. To him, a vacation is often associated with traveling to a resort where one can rejuvenate and commune with nature, a typical way to re-energize oneself. He explains that a slow-living lifestyle would be allowing a house to accommodate such spaces. Homeowners should allow their house to have a “resort” essence to it.
Despite being located in the middle of a city, the Richmore Residence still feels cozy and offers a resort-like ambiance. Architect Mañosa explains that regardless of the site’s location, there will always be enough space to try and achieve a small slice of tranquility to convert a house into a relaxing home.
The project was part renovation and part new construction. Working with the existing house and integrating the space into the new lot were challenging for the team. The steep slope also added an extra challenge as it changed the elevation from the existing house to the new section of the house.
The team wanted the spaces to feel “earthy” and grounded. At the same time, the spaces should also feel human and unpretentious. For Architect Mañosa, these are the types of spaces that refill the mind and soul after a hard day’s work.
Apart from the aesthetics, paying attention to the comfort of the house is another Mañosa signature. According to Architect Mañosa, the Richmore Residence is a climate-conscious house. The team spent a lot of time studying the sun paths and prevailing winds in the area before the development of schematic designs. The house also promotes indoor air quality. His team was conscious not to specify harmful glues and paints with volatile organic compounds.
Additionally, the team would have preferred to use indigenous materials and local products to lessen the project’s carbon footprint. Architect Mañosa, however, explains that the house can “breathe” as prevailing winds allow for proper passive cooling and ventilation.
He adds that the project doesn’t violate the firm’s self-imposed Natural Daylight Criteria which assures their clients that the amount of sunlight they get in the room is ample for their needs. This makes natural daylight a choice, allowing residents to control the amount of sunlight in a space as opposed to automatically having to turn on artificial lighting. It is one energy conservation strategy that the team has designed for the residence.
The house is equipped with sun baffles to control the amount of sunlight coming into the house. It also has proper roof eaves to protect the windows, while a proper slope helps protect it against heavy rain. Its plant boxes, meanwhile, not only serve for aesthetics but also control indirect solar radiation. Architect Mañosa added tukod designs and the firm’s roof finial as a Mañosa trademark, as well.
The young Mañosa shares that it is vital to understand the climate, culture, client, and the project site to achieve slow living uniquely.
Slow Living Architecture in the Philippines
Since the pandemic, people around the world have shifted to the new normal. In the Philippines, many houses were designed in a way that encourages residents to make their stay at home more meaningful. Despite the pandemic, Architect Mañosa believes that more relaxed spaces affect human behavior profoundly. He explains that society in general changes for the better when human behavior changes.
Moreover, he believes that the country is better off promoting local architecture that speaks the language of our culture, traditions, and people. He considers slow-living architecture a by-product of Philippine architecture’s evolution.
In making slow-living architecture uniquely Filipino, Architect Mañosa highlights that designers should accept that they’re Filipinos and believe that their culture is among the best in the world. They must design with this state of mind.
The Richmore Residence is more than a place to remind the couple of their wedding at Pearl Farm. It also embodies Filipino values like “malasakit” and being hospitable through the mindful use of local materials and by championing local craftsmanship. The house showcases how contemporary Filipino architecture allows residents to enjoy their time at home and find solace away from the busy city life.