The weather in the Philippines was very unpredictable and it was crucial to complete the roof once and for all. I was on Christmas holiday when we started working on it. Some change in plan was consider like including covering the slab above the garage to provide a den, an extra room for guest, a TV room or study room as our previous one will be used as bedroom for one of the boys. I left the country without finishing the work. Eventually, a roof over my family’s head were screwed and riveted in place.
Since my family lived in here during the whole duration of construction, the architect came up with programme, doing the whole house in four (4) phases. He prepared plan for each phase starting with the master bedroom with walk-in closet and ensuite bath (Ph1 – The Masters); the laundry, service kitchen, maid’s quarter with T&B, formal kitchen, dining and common T&B for the kids (Ph2 – The Service Area); the living room and the courtyard/airwell (Ph3 – The Front Room) and the kid’s rooms and the den (Ph4 – For the kids). We did not include works in the facade (The Envelope) and the apartment at the back (For Rent – Back of the House).
(To be continued…)
The House has gone through a number of extensions, renovations and repairs. From a humble 25 square meters house on 69 square meters lot to about 700 (including a proposed 5-doors apartments at the back), can you imagine how many has been done through all these years?
With the generous help and support of Arch. Butch who provide an almost free assistance, we finally came up with plan to do what I can say “the realization of our dream”. We were so scared as we know our budget seems not enough to start the project.
It was sometime October 2016, when we had the discussion and came up with the plan to have the renovation. We just wanted to re-roof and improve the facade that would make all previous extensions looks like it was done at one time.
The sketches were drawn and shown to us by the architect.
November 2016 from these initial concepts, it started to snowballed into Olympic scale. These drawing started to take its form as Juni, my well-trusted contractor, started to demolish, break, and rebuilt. Deliveries of materials started to filed up our space and the first hollow block has been set.
What makes us finally decide to have this major decision of rebuilding our house? It’s the leak. This bungalow was actually designed and proposed for another storey in the future. So, obviously all the extension has been covered with a slab roof that would serve later as the flooring for the next phase. Unfortunately, budget did not allow me to push with the rest of my plan yet and it’s a fact that a slab is not a wise idea as a shelter from rain. The leaked damage our ceiling and other stuffs below it. We have to bear that for several years, whilst spending money for repairing and repainting till the next rainy season, again and again.
Hence, we came up with the solution, to cover the roof of the whole house and forgo the idea of the having another floor.
To the real thing (with long time business partners, Edgar for the trusses and Apollo for roofing installation). The roof was a combination of Banawe and Multirib from Puyat Steel (0.50mm).
(To be continued…)
Casa Brutale is a geometrical translation of the landscape. It is an unclad statement on the simplicity and harmony of contemporary architecture. It is a chameleonic living space, created to serve its owner and respect the environment. It is the inverted reference to Casa Malaparte, encased and protected by the tender earth that has hosted the human civilization for millennia. It is a complete study of aesthetics, structure, function and engineering, which thoroughly detailed, awaits solely its realisation.
Casa Brutale is OPA’s challenging vision of innovative architecture, where innovation refers to long forgotten terms such as ambience and materiality. Its subtle form allows for the magnificent view and the game of light and shadow to take center stage. The residence is constructed with simple materials: wood, glass and concrete, the convergence of the surrounding earth and water. The landscape is integral to the underlying concept, since elements penetrate and prevail over the construction. The roof of Casa Brutale, a glazed bottom swimming pool, is a continuation of the poetic Aegean Sea and in perfect communication with the vast blue of the Greek sky.
In essential simplicity, Casa Brutale is defined by three thick concrete slabs with all the installations preformed. The crystalline pool, made by reinforced glass, is set between the walls to smoothen the hard materials and let the abundant natural light through, illuminating the residence. The enormous glass façade frames and extracts the beauty of the Aegean. And small details of black-coated steel and brown/red aged wood complete the composition.
In literal groundbreaking integration, Casa Brutale penetrates the landscape. The underground building benefits from a perfect homeostatic mechanism with thermal insulation from the surrounding ground, and the cooling properties of the swimming pool. The optical impact of the building on the landscape is minimal, with only one façade on the cliff side and no volume extruding from the ground level.
Light penetrates the transparent or semi-transparent surfaces of Casa Brutale, bringing it to life. The dynamic light patterns caress the bare concrete with refractions and shadows. Bare concrete, or beton brut, is the finishing technique that gave the name to both brutalism and Casa Brutale. Raw, unpretentious, monolithic, marked by the wooden planks used to mold the casting.
After descending 50 stairs to the Aegean, under the shadows of epic concrete beams, you reach the entrance (also accessible by elevator). The tall, rotating door of aged wood (with the axis at ¾ lengths) opens to a breathtaking sea view, through the glass façade. The remaining space is bare, pure and simple; minimalism at its best. A concrete cast dining table is combined with concrete benches, clad with warm wood. Smooth curves sculpture the fireplace on the wall next to the bench. Behind the dining table, the guest room is formed under an old-fashioned Zoellner slab with a glass corner. Next to the guest room, there is a small passage to the utility rooms (storage room, bathroom and WC).
An inner staircase consists of thin, steel steps that allow the optical continuity from the kitchen to the glass façade. The staircase leads you to the mezzanine floor, where the master bedroom is exposed to the same overpowering vision of the Aegean. The bed is cast of concrete with wood finishing, while the walls are covered with mirror to enhance the play between light and shadows.
Casa Brutale redefines the harmonious coexistence of human and nature in a poetic homage to pure Brutalism.