Modern minimalism spiced with personality

MANILA, Philippines -- When friends Joao Pajaro, Jerome Pamintuan, Hermie Villanueva, and Ronald Dannug started their build-and-sell business, they commissioned their friend Architect Joanna Santana to design the houses. As it turned out, Joanna and husband Architect Caesar Santana were thinking of going into the same venture. Thus, these five friends established a company they named Modern Dwellings.

Joanna, who finished Architecture at the University of the Philippines in 1994, says, "Modern Dwellings aims to provide a home with a neutral palette so that the future owner can inject their own personality and character."

Joanna and her partners believe that a resident can live a high quality life even within a limited space. "We want them to be happy in their home," she adds.

Construction for their first project began in 2009: a six-unit townhouse in UP Village. Their latest, a nine-unit townhouse compound with a pool and playground in Don Antonio, Quezon City, is now in the final stages of construction. True to the name of the company, both projects are modern in architecture, but they still evoke a warm ambience. "We prefer to design communities and not just individual residences," Joanna points out.

The compound was designed to showcase functionality and green architecture. Natural lighting and ventilation were achieved by using big windows and an air well. Modular construction was also utilized. For formworks, phenolic boards made of various synthetic thermosetting resins were used. These types of boards are very practical because they can be reused. Standard sizes of materials such as tiles, concrete hollow blocks, and boral boards were considered in doing the plans to minimize wastage. Furthermore, Joanna opted for LED lighting because of its long-life properties. After all, changing the lights encsonced at the eaves can be quite a chore for the homeowner.

In most residential projects, the utility is often taken for granted. Joanna made sure that this wouldn't be the case here. To achieve function without sacrificing aesthetics, she situated the laundry area adjacent to the garage but she discreetly concealed this with a grilled sliding metal door.

Modern houses, because of their straight lines and minimalist design, have a tendency to look or feel "cold." Joanna (a mother of three kids aged 14, 12, and nine) shares the following ideas that can enhance the character of a modern house. These are the same principles she used when she designed their projects.

The lay out should encourage interaction among family members

Says Joanna, "Because of the open plan, the furniture could be laid out to create conversation areas on the intimate level or on a bigger group level. I imagine a small family gathered around the living area watching their favorite TV shows together, or the party host entertaining guests from the island counter in the kitchen."

Lights are used to illuminate and set the mood

The lights in the townhouse units were designed to give an atmosphere of coziness and warmth, and not just to provide lighting. Cove lighting under the kitchen cabinets and drop lights above the island counter were added to illuminate the work areas while general lighting is kept in a warm, low wattage glow.

"We made sure there is no harsh lighting above the lounging areas, but there must be adequate lighting in the dining and kitchen areas," says Joanna.

Fabrics and wood accents must create a textured feel

Full-length curtains, area rugs, wood accents all add to the homey feel of a place.

Natural lighting and ventilation

Although the area of each townhouse unit is not that large, the feeling of spaciousness helps in creating a homey environment. Residents won't feel they are living in a shoebox.

Keep in mind that the modern home is a part of a bigger community

Although the window openings are quite large, they are positioned in such a way so as to minimize direct visual contact with the neighbors. There are also common areas and open spaces that foster community interaction. Utility areas on the ground level, which is also the common area level, were carefully considered so as not to create eyesores that may lead to friction among neighbors. The sampayan, laundry, and storage areas are tucked into the rear portion of the garage, hidden behind wood slats.

"Pocket gardens are also incorporated into the layout of the driveways," says Joanna.

Architect Joanna encourages owners of modern homes to inject their personality and lifestyle in their living spaces. She leaves us with these inspiring words: "Your home is your blank canvas waiting for the artist's masterpiece."

Contact Modern Dwellings at 997-2561.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • BPI Family Savings extends auto loan promo
    BPI Family Savings extends auto loan promo

    BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo untilJune 30, 2015 which allows you to avail of a car loan with a loan term of at least 36 months. The promo, which includes free 1-month free loan amortization, gives every customer an ease when […] The post BPI Family Savings extends auto loan promo appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. But he expressed confidence that China would …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

  • UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term
    UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term

    The United Nations has been asked to look into   110 cases of torture and numerous cases of illegal arrests during the Aquino administration. Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, yesterday said the matter could be looked into when the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) visits from May 25 to June 3 to monitor the  implementation of the Optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OpCAT), which the Philippines ratified in 2012. “We enjoin the UN SPT to …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON, May 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options