Vianca created a unique house in Puro Island of Philippines. Originally from Philippines, after working in Dubai 9-5, she wanted pursue a different life and returned to her home country. We interviewed her about the journey she passed through.
What are some crucial points in your life that lead you to this point?
Right after graduating from college, I was offered a design job in Dubai and spent four years there frankly as a workaholic. It served as a great training ground until I felt it was time to go back home to the Philippines. I knew I didn’t want to keep living that hectic 9-5 life so I made a choice to take a break and slow things down.
I spent the next couple of years pursuing other passions such as traveling and was especially drawn to observing the way of life in small and secluded villages. I knew I had always wanted to live by the sea and keep creating so I thought of a way to combine all these passions. That’s when I began to dream up this project - designing both the architecture and interior of our family home by the sea in a small and secluded island.
What inspires you?
The simple way of life, a pure thought. The creative instinct of a child, humor and honesty.
I'm also very much inspired by this island, the nature and its people.
How does island life effect your design choices if you were to compare an apartment in a city?
I wanted to approach the project the way an island local would and that is to make use of what is already around me. We’re in a small and secluded island that has no establishments so building and living here really makes you feel that you are so dependent on nature and the sea. The challenge was to create with traditional and natural materials sourced within the Romblon islands. It’s a slow process that is mindful of nature and allows for ideas to evolve.
In the city, it’s much easier and faster to put things together and that works in that kind of environment. Here, I feel it wouldn’t be appealing to have pieces that look like they were shipped from somewhere.
How would you blend nature and architecture?
The idea was to create a basic structure that is minimally disruptive to the surrounding. It didn’t need to look contemporary nor future-forward. I also wasn’t trying to design a home that would be the best looking around here. In fact, I wanted it to look almost as if it’s not designed at all and that approach makes it blend with nature more than anything.
Our home is comprised of huts - living and dining hut, kitchen hut and bedroom huts. The openings are wide so the areas really feel connected and the view of the sea is maximized. All materials used are natural such as cogon grass, marble, papertree and coconut timber.
What are your favorite things within the island?
This giant antique clam shell given by a neighbor and a stack of rolled buri leaves which I turned into a side table.
I also really enjoy the view of the triangular islet from our property and observing palm shadows throughout the day.