Project: Bahay Sibi House
Architects: Platform 21 Architecture
Location: Baliuag, Philippines
Area: 3,229 sf
Photographs by: Benson Go
Bahay Sibi House by Platform 21 Architecture
Platform 21 Architecture has designed the Bahay Sibi House in Baliuag in the Philippines. It is placed on a corner lot with just over 3,200 square feet of space. The home takes on a contemporary appearance with plenty of references to the Filipino archetype. The exterior design features an interesting interplay of materials between the concrete and wood.
Nestled in a 300-sqm corner property in Baliuag, Bulacan is Bahay Sibi, a three-storey residence made of wood and concrete. Emboldened concrete volumes offer a dynamic play in form, balanced by the warmth from its wooden eaves, exterior paneling, and unique sun shading. An interesting interplay of façade is observed at its two fronts, morphing from individual volumes made cohesive by its recurring brise soleil, reminiscent of the house’s namesake—the sibi.
To create a house representative of the Filipino archetype is what Platform 21 Architecture’s intended for Bahay Sibi. The sibi, an extension of the roof over a window, is a key component of the bahay kubo—a well-known Filipino vernacular home. The sibi acts as primary weatherproofing, from heavy rains to intense sunlight, and is an important component for architecture in tropical locations. Guided by this principle, Platform 21 Architecture molded the sibi into a modern home, breathing their own interpretation for a more contemporary approach. With the property primarily facing North and East, ample light from the morning sun was taken into consideration. Major spaces such as the living and dining areas were respectively situated along the East and North sides of the property, with the garden and lanai situated along the northeast.
Fenestration were designed to accommodate ample sunlight and wind. In order to address intense heat during the day, the initial iterations of the sibi can be seen along the fenestration of the major public spaces, providing light and keeping out heat. The spacing of the sibi-patterned brise-soleil extends upward, towards the second floor, where it continues to shade the bedrooms overlooking the North and East roads. Armed with its simple and efficient layout, the bedrooms have been adequately positioned to maximize vistas and views, vis-à-vis maintaining a modicum of privacy.
From its strong wood and concrete exterior, Bahay Sibi evolved into a haven of warmth interior spaces. Light, airy, and bright, the interior space of Bahay Sibi boasts of a streamlined plan that maximized functionality and multi-dimensionality of spatial use, anchored with the principle of interrelating spaces to encourage mobility and intermingling. The open plan on the ground floor provided an unobstructed flow to multiple activities within the household. Simple, clean, and efficient lines are balanced with warm oak tones. This delicate balance is best exemplified by the contrast between the lightly-colored tiles and the wooden wall paneling, as well as the streamlined open-stringer staircase made out of solid oak planks. These elements in the interior space are in harmony with the house’s exterior, providing a continuity in its design and planning.
Platform 21 Architecture has shown a mastery of continuity in its utility of materials, harmonization of space and volume, and careful yet bold iteration of vernacular architecture into contemporary form. Bahay Sibi is an example of how basic concepts can be learned from early Philippine architectural origins and be evolved to accommodate modern requirements and aesthetic. Through clear understanding of architecture and planning, as well as a respectful homage to vernacular roots, Platform 21 Architecture has exemplified their prowess in creating a residence that is both magnificent yet subdued, focused on the necessities of its end users without compromising identity and artistry.