C Residence | Silang, Cavite, Philippines | 2022 – To the architectures of Le Cobusier’s Villa Savoye and van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the program for this household of three is fairly straightforward: all private functions (bedrooms, toilet & baths) are relegated to the longitudinal North side of the volume on two levels while all public functions (living, dining, food preparation) occupy the other half of the space as one big interior volume (open-plan, double height). But as they say, nothing ever is as it seems. FIRM PROFILE
C Residence Philippines Louta Et AL – In what started as an attempt to get away from the city, here is a place that houses contradictions: center/periphery, cold/warmth, and the Modern/more or less everything it’s not. The first contradiction lies in the concept of reviving the Modern agenda: in this age of the climate emergency, is such a revival appropriate especially when indigenous design appears to be the way to move forward as that fount of sustainable practices of ‘design’?
Flowing from this, the second paradox revolves around the idea of the uncordial. With nary an extra element, this is an exercise in restraint that borders the impersonal—that antithesis of ‘home’ (the locally sourced marble used for the flooring throughout from the toilet and baths to the carport, certainly does not help in making a case for cozy).
C Residence Philippines Louta Et AL – So how is this ever-volatile notion of homemade to rest in a site that doesn’t allow for the accouterments, and comforts of the everyday? With the last antimony—that locates most urban aesthetics in suburbia—what is ultimately revealed is a space that is built to accommodate these incongruities. In this double-sided, symmetrical cantilever, these weighty dichotomies are made to appeal to lightness.
Cavern-like in its framing of the outside world—rendering both exterior and interior matter-of-factly—what is created is a site of erasure that allows for exactly an introspective thinking about the design, of materiality, and gives sharp focus on life itself as a source of intimacies. Or at least that is the hope.
PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY: louta et al. + Rog Castillo II
C Residence Philippines Louta Et AL – Informed by the continued dialogue that cuts across various specializations, methodologies, and research, louta et al. hope to arrive at the practice of design that is neither this-nor-that—as a homecoming of sorts to precisely that indeterminate place that embodies the Japanese 境界 (kyokai) or the Filipino liminal. Spearheaded by individuals that see their roles as uncompromising co-creators, designs are defined as a discreet curation of intentional detailing: structured but also improvisational in the care for nuances any project inherently possesses. LOUIE T. NAVARRO Co-founder | Creative Director.
As Co-founder and Creative Director of louta et al., Louie sees his role for now as that who sifts through the evermore diverse notion of what constitutes design today—where each project represents completeness, and stillness whilst simultaneously embodying ‘becoming’ within the larger context of louta et al.’s portfolio of works. Informed by his decade-long professional experience and his background of study that encompasses a wide spectrum of approaches: from a practice-based standpoint (BFA Interior Design, University of Santo Tomas, PH) to an art-theoretical perspective (MA Art Studies, major in Art Theory and Criticism, University of the Philippines, PH), and a midpoint of sorts with his doctoral research project (Ph.D. Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HK), Louie is also just now learning local ways of ‘making’—taking him far from the hustle and bustle of Manila where he was born and raised. He is also a lecturer for the Interior Design program of his alma mater (University of Santo Tomas, PH), the Executive Director for Linkages, Scholarships, and Grants of the Council of Interior Design Educators (CIDE), a member of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID), and an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In 2020, he was invited to contribute a chapter to the Registered Interior Designers Association (RIDA) Book Series: Interior Design Body of Knowledge which is a textbook jointly published by the Hong Kong Interior Design Association (HKIDA) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. TAKUYA TANAKA Co-founder | Co-creator | Strategic Director As a Co-creator, Takuya Tanaka’s background in Engineering (MA Frontier Materials and Function Engineering, Iwate University, JP) provides a complemental focus to his Co-founder’s design ethos. With an exactness of intent that has been ever-so heightened by his Japanese heritage, Takuya provides a counterpoint grounded on restraint and made manifest by way of design externalities: from material composition to the minutest of detailing and finishing that translates into uncompromising outcomes.
In co-founding louta et al., he also brings this same level of preciseness to the business side of things with an insight—that in contrast to his growing up in the small city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture is shaped by his extensive travels across the globe in various capacities as a stakeholder for other investments—that ensures the continuity of all of the company’s creative endeavors.
Project Name: C Residence
Site Area: 234 sqm
Year of completion:: 2022
City: Silang, Cavite
State: NA (Country: Philippines)
Photographer/s: louta et al. + Rog Castillo II
All the team: Louie T. Navarro, Takuya Tanaka