Post-modern deja vu

Penny Chanco
·2 min read

Re-designing an existing structure in avant-garde fashion could form a culture shock among the locals.

Restraint by the existing structure, known as the “white house” as it was coated all white for decades, was refashioned to somehow conversant and tranquil to the eyes.

For the first Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative (DCCCO)-owned building outside of Dumaguete City, the makeover revolved around the concept of branding the corporate culture of DCCCO main building in Dumaguete City and making it work 116 kilometers north of Dumaguete with very contemporary touches, complemented with amenities like function rooms and guest rooms. It was to be a makeover of an old house, transforming it into a corporate space.

Architect Ned Carlos began by gauging the old house and listing down the deviations that would suit the needs of a corporate building. Reminiscing the works of Michael Graves, Venturi-Scott Brown and Robert Stern in the 1980s, the architect’s design would be post-modern as it also enlivens the design of his client’s main building in Dumaguete City.

The architect unambiguously retrofitted the building with a play of natural light and shadows. Extra windows and glass partitions were employed. Debris from demolition of certain areas was castoff as a backfill material. The new addition rested on new columns to preserve the veracity of the current structure. Mostly concrete was employed as it was the solitary material willingly obtainable everyplace in the province.

“Adaptive re-use is more challenging than building from the ground up,” said Carlos. “It took us 12 months to finally complete the renovation.”

A second building 100 kilometers south of Dumaguete City would be built in post-modern style. This second building would be a new structure and not a renovation. With this, the architect was finally unrestricted to design the building similarly analogous to the original. A building fit for a Mediterranean landscape with classical Greek motifs infused in modernity was the corporate design to replicate. This building would be much bigger than the renovated building but constructed in two phases.

Two buildings belonging to a design style known only to a generation worn-out of the classic modern, and an architect having revived it primarily to a corporate architecture in two remote cities opposite of each other, have enthused the local residents and the cooperative’s associates with its post-modern design.