Architects must combine modernity and Filipinoism

In Photo: The Kohler Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Arch. Francisco Mañosa of Mañosa and Co., represented by his grandchildren

LOCAL architects and designers must pursue modern ideas and, at the same time, maintain the Filipino identity to be a distinct force in the global arena.

“Modernity is there. We are advocates of modernity in designs. We feel it needs to be progressive and rooted at the same time, so we don’t abandon our identity Definitely, we offer creativity to the world,” said Antonio Layug, principal designer and chairman of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design in an interview recently on the sidelines of the Kohler Bold Design and Awards (KBDA) held in Pasay City.

KBDA 2017 judges (from left) Bill Bensley, creative director of Bensley Studios (Thailand and Indonesia); Royal Pineda, principal architect and CEO of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design (Philippines); Kenneth Cobonpue, founder and creative director of Kenneth Cobonpue (Philippines); Antonio Budji Layug, principal designer and chairman of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design (Philippines); and Carmelo Casas, president and CEO of Casas Architects.

“That is the process that Filipino designers and architects must push. Always Filipino and always modern,” he added.

Larry Yuen, group president, kitchen and bath, Kohler Co., said they chose Manila as the venue for the KBDA because they see a lot of talents in the country.

Aside from looking for other markers for their products, Yuen said the company plans to create a platform for designers to promote their work.

Bill Bensley, creative director of Bensley Studios (Thailand and Indonesia), said the level of talent in the Philippines “is surprisingly excellent.”

Royal Pineda, principal architect and CEO of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design (Philippines), said there is a lot of world-class local talents who joined the competition. “We think we just need a platform where we can show it to the world that our talents are on a par with the international designs,” he said.

“Kohler believes in the transformative power of design industry for both residential and commercial sectors and the importance of designers in shaping the Asian century. We hope to accredit these outstanding designers by providing them a platform to facilitate the sharing of great works and projects within the region.” explained Angel Yang, president, Asia Pacific, kitchen and bath, Kohler Co.

The Kohler Bold Design Awards 2017 honored the region’s most outstanding projects in the design industry. It aimed to create an award-giving body that would be able to elevate the professional practice and design standards in Asia Pacific.

A highly experienced team of international and Filipino professionals covering the whole range of property disciplines—luxury apartments, villas, international airport, well-known brand retail stores and high-end hotels, among others—was tapped to judge over a hundred Kohler Bold Design Awards entries.

“The winning entries prove that the design and real-estate industry in the Philippines is thriving, inspiring, competitive, and world-class. We also believe that the winners have created an impact on the design industry,” the panel of judges shared.

Aside from Bensley, Layug and Pineda, the other judges were Carmelo Casas, president and CEO of Casas Architects; Kenneth Cobonpue, founder and creative director of Kenneth Cobonpue; and Simon Rawlings, creative director of David Collins Studio (UK).

The Kohler Bold Design Awards was opened to hotel operators, hospital and residential development property professionals, architects and designers from the local market.

Its categories include Boldest Spaces, for sectors representing projects for living, travel, leisure and culture; and the Visionaries, Innovation, which is a category for the prodigies and icons of the industry. A total of 12 awards were bestowed to the winners of KBDA 2017.

The 12 winners are Penthouse Edades condominium unit, Atelier Almario Corp. (condo living); Paraiso House, Manam Architecture (villa living); C Residence, J+A DESIGN (apartment living); Astoria Palawan and Current Resort, Atelier Almario Corp. (travel-resorts); G1, 90 Studio Design (urban); Apt Studio, Buensalido Architects (cultural spaces); Paco Market, Maja Olivares Co. of Sonia Santiago Olivares Associates (culture-social spaces); Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Integrated Design Associates Ltd. (visionaries-innovation); Vivian Sy-Ng, Astoria Hotels and Resorts (visionaries-master patron); Dos Manalo, Manam Architecture (visionaries-prodigies-rising talent); and Arch. Francisco Mañosa, Mañosa and Co. (Visionaries-John Michael Kohler Lifetime Achievement Award).

Mañosa received the most honorable award for his extensive years of contributing to the design scene, and his constant and bold development and search for indigenous materials in developing exponent for Filipino architecture. Some of his works include the Coconut Palace, the Edsa Shrine, the Davao Pearl Farm and Amanpulo Resorts.

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Rizal Raoul S. Reyes has covered technology, science, business, property and special reports. He had working stints with the Business Star, Manila Bulletin and Independent Daily News.

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