The Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) continues its long-held tradition of design excellence with the class of 2018’s graduation exhibit entitled “JUXTAPOSE: Espasyo at Panahon.” The exhibit is open until October 31 at the 11th floor, Santolan Town Plaza. ‘JUXTAPOSE’ showcases 17 student-made booths that explore adaptive reuse as a solution to design problems by repurposing old buildings or sites for a function other than what it was originally built for.
Co-presented by Santolan Town Plaza and in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the exhibit is divided into three categories: Tahanan, Pangkalakal, and Pang-Industriya.
The first of six booths in the Tahanan gallery is “The Bar Beneath… in San Juan,” which transforms the bomb shelter of the Castro House in San Juan City into a speakeasy. The use of ambient lighting and earthy tones to match the curious sandbag ceilings and funnel-like stairway maintains the bomb shelter-turned-bar’s aura of secrecy.
Booth no. 2, named “The Vigan Atelier,” repurposes the Cabildo Ancestral House in Calle Crisologo, Vigan City into an atelier that marries the city’s Spanish elements with modern accents. “Small Space | Big Living,” the third booth, maximizes a 16-square-meter area of the Tañada Ancestral Home in New Manila, Quezon City into a loft with black-and-white and wooden interiors to add character to its Spanish designs.
The “Modern Filipino Haven” of Booth 4 recreates the Laurel Ancestral House of San Juan City as a private spa, contrasting Filipino details with textured glass and metal touches. In Booth no. 5’s “Bridal Boudoir,” the Castro House is again adaptively reused, this time as a bridal quarters nostalgic of Filipino art deco.
For the sixth and last of the Tahanan booths, the Punzalan Ancestral House in Taal, Batangas becomes the enchanting “Marahuyo Spa & Tea House.” The house, now a tourist inn, is taken a step further to make a proudly local tropical spa.
The Pangkalakal gallery begins with Booth 7’s “La Moneda Bookshop and Cafe,” which makes use of the Aduana building in Intramuros. Inspired by Aduana’s history as the place where the first Philippine coins were made, the booth is highlighted by an accent wall of the country’s map made entirely of five and ten centavo coins.
Booth no. 8 turns the former PSID Building in Chino Roces Ave. into “C + C Cafe Creatives”, a space for artists to meet and discuss ideas. The distinct contemporary Filipino setup is an homage to Lor Calma, who designed the PSID building. In “Little Cafe Museum” of Booth no. 9, the same building is reimagined as a museum-inspired cafe with clean lines and wide windows for a modern minimalist study space.
The “Retro-Industrial Cafe 308” of Booth 10 takes from the neoclassical and beaux arts styles to turn Regina Building in Escolta St., Manila into a whimsical coffee bar that melds both past and present.
“Kusina Aduana” by Booth 11 revives Aduana by turning it into a kitchen perfect for local food tour with a modern rustic design that uses Filipino elements like rattan weave. Booth 12 also repurposes Aduana, but as the modern classic “Below Zero Gelateria” that uses polished concrete and brick walls to recreate the building’s old feel.
Pang-industriya, the final portion of the exhibit , begins with “Industrial Techno Gym” from Booth no. 13. The Tanduay Fire Station in Paco, Manila is re-envisioned as a nightclub-themed gym, salvaging rubber and wood from the building to create a space perfect for the University Belt area.
Booth 14’s “Dor-Moderno” adaptively reuses the San Nicolas Fire Station in Binondo into a three-person dormitory that creatively utilizes reclaimed wood in its interiors inspired by firemen’s quarters. In Booth 15, The Tanduay Fire Station is this time transformed into a steampunk-themed coworking bar named “Station no. 15,” making good use of recycled steel parts for a fresh, creative workspace.
Valenzuela City’s PNR Polo Station is repurposed as the “Polo Estacion-Artisan Market” in Booth 16. Its rustic and industrial design mimics the interiors of a railway through the floorwork and illuminated arches that give an illusion of continuity through the reflective bronze wall.
Concluding the exhibit is “KM 102 Gentleman’s Barber Lounge” from Booth 17, which turns the San Fernando Train Station in Pampanga into an upscale men’s grooming lounge. Its accent dome ceiling made of copper pipes complements the masculine atmosphere of the barber shop.
“The Philippines has a lot of markable cultural heritage buildings so there’s a strong potential to conduct adaptive reuse on these structures,” says Mary Ann Bulanadi, PSID instructor and volunteer curator at the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista. “Since it’s a new thing locally, the PSID 2018 exhibits utilizing adaptive reuse concepts can serve as a laboratory of sorts to help teach young interior designers to be competent in working on old heritage sites as their real-life projects. We are preparing the stage for that future.”