A Modern Filipiniana Home

Designing a home in a tropical country that can take both searing hot and extremely humid summer, and a typhoon-ridden rainy season takes skill and forward-thinking when designing.


Architect Ricky Solatorio designed a house for a Bacolod-based family who wanted an energy-efficient home that is both beautiful and practical. He combined traditional Filipino elements with modern design in this house, using their antique furniture collection.


Cross-ventilation and orientation are important, along with an open layout. According to him, this is to take into account the wind, sun, and shade orientation at each time of the day. The house is structured diagonally, with most of the service areas like the garage facing the southwest. A brisesoleil keeps the open area shaded, where the sun is harshest. This type of design has been seen before in old houses like the “bahay na bato”.


The loft-type construction adds to the house’s sense of space. Chandeliers provide balance to the second floor and the high ceiling.the different parts of his very own abode.


Folding doors, as well as stone and marble tiles and steps, give the garden the impression of seamlessly blending into the dining area. This makes the ground floor look like one big garden.


The wooden bench mirrors the door’s geometric design, tying the modern and antique elements together.


They made the most of light, vents, wind flow, humidity control, glare, and thermal zones for a house that is cool in the summer and dry during the rainy season. According to the home’s Interior Designer Cacar Lizares, the couple had furniture inherited from the wife’s family. They also had a lot of old wood that we used as materials for the flooring, ceiling, and second floor railings, as well as the kitchen cabinets.


Sliding doors inlaid with capiz make for beautiful dividers that allow light to shine through even when closed.

The common areas’ high ceiling, open floor plan, and large doors make the interior feel as if it was part of the garden.


High ceilings and intricate woodwork vents let air pass through, while open areas maximized natural light. Capiz windows add to the Filipiniana feel while diffusing light and lessening heat. Accoring to Cacar, the house was structured requiring wind flow access to all areas, so it was made at an angle. He also added that he needed to cut the ceiling into portions to give the high ceiling of the living area a different design from the ceiling of the dining area, and so with the ceiling of the second floor.

Modern design and Filipiniana interiors look beautiful yet is practical for a tropical climate. The whole house is passive cooling at its best, you probably don’t even need air conditioners for this home even during the hottest time of the day.


*This article has been revised for online reading. The original article appeared on the April 2014 issue of My Home Magazine. Get the e-mag version My Home Magazines on Magzter.