Quantcast
Latest Stories

Starck firm to design riverfront property

By

STARCK meets Warendorf, a German kitchen system. The opaque glass, leaf patterns and Venetian edgings lend character to the kitchen. The plastic wall lamp is by Starck, but of course.

Known for its $10-million apartments, design icon Philippe Starck’s company called Yoo is creating the common areas of a condominium by the Pasig River.

The 56-story Iguazu is the fifth and tallest tower in Century Properties’ Acqua Private Residences, a 2.4-hectare development between Mandaluyong and Makati.

British property developer and Yoo founder John Hitchcox admitted he was initially lukewarm about the offer from Century Properties.

Robbie Antonio, Century Properties managing director, recalled how the real estate firm tried to convince Yoo. “If we gave in to them, we’d create 300-sq m units only for 10 people. That wasn’t the point.”

STARCK trademark: Framing the plasma TV. NELSON MATAWARAN

When Hitchcox visited the site on Christmas Day last year, he liked the concept of Acqua, which is dubbed a “residential Eden.”

“Sometimes it’s more difficult to design low-cost projects but we love the challenge. This project is a regeneration and gentrification,” he said. Hitchcox was referring to how the property development helped speed up the cleaning of Pasig River and how Century Properties is transforming a drab and lifeless environment into a rain-forest-theme, multipurpose venue.

Iguazu’s condo sizes range from a 30-sq m unit that costs P4.5 million or $109,000 while the two-bedroom unit is about 100 sq m. The cost per square meter ranges from P150,000 to P250,000.

Acqua’s concept augurs well with Starck’s signature. As a brand, he stands for sophistication and accessibility, and he designs spaces and objects that are innovative yet affordable.

YOO’S head designer Mark Davison and Yoo founder John Hitchcox

Marco Antonio, Century Properties managing director and Acqua project head, rejoined, “Not every condo can be worth more than a million dollars.  There is no point in offering champagne  when one can’t afford it. One of Philippe’s philosophies is design democratization. His designs are high-tech but they won’t break the budget.”

‘The Little Prince’

Hitchcox explained that the buyer isn’t just getting 30 sq m but actually acquiring the lifestyle.  “We’ve done a survey that showed people are moving in to places to be with like-minded individuals  and enjoy spending time in these buildings. The idea of small homes and lots of communal areas is the way of the future. Your space may be 30 sq m but your swimming pool is 40 meters long.”

Aside from amenities that are exclusive to Acqua residential towers, inhabitants can enjoy Pebble Country Club, the garden and river walk promenade.

ROBBIE and Marco Antonio

“People recognize these as an appreciating asset. It’s rare to find projects that have communities. These appreciate in value,” said Hitchcox.

Starck’s design concept drew inspiration from “The Little Prince,” by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, which tells the adventures of a prince from an asteroid and the narrator.  Hence, elements from the solar system will be a dominant theme. At the crown of Iguazu is Cielo (meaning sky), three levels of amenities which host the waterfall, indoor and outdoor libraries, DJ booth with dance floor,  pool, fitness and wellness centers and lounge areas. Suspended from the canopy is an orb which turns into the sun by day and the moon at night. A quote from “The Little Prince” in Starck’s handwriting will also adorn the tower.

Mark Davison, Yoo’s head of design, explained, “Some ideas are abstract, but it’s in keeping with the childlike wonder of the universe.”

Cielo is Yoo’s solution to reviving human connection in the age of technology.

“Try sitting down at a family dinner without somebody picking up the Blackberry or phone. I’m trying to bring interaction back into their homes. With the size of the homes getting smaller,  we are spending time on our own. We go out to restaurants more. But a lot of people on a Monday evening don’t go out.

Bringing interaction back

MAP of the world highlights the ceiling. The décor is toned down for people who are not ready to accept something provocative.

“In this building, you spend time upstairs in the clubroom, and have a chat with somebody. It creates an environment like a home in a modern setting. That’s a phenomenon happening in countries with a big population.”

Yoo (Starck’s spelling of “you,” in reference to the end-user) designed three model units which reflected the French creator’s style. Still, Davison pointed out the company also utilizes themes or icons from the culture of its client and integrates them into their future designs.  “The cultural mix is part of our design evolution.” For one, the Philippine brand Tai Ping produces carpets for all its international projects.

“Yoo used local materials and icons in ingenious ways that we developers never thought of.  Aside from having a fresh eye, they kept the buyer in mind. Some may want a natural and relaxing theme, others want drama while others want something minimalist,” said Marco.

Along the hallway, a popular quote from “The Little Prince” is inscribed on the walls: “On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” (One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye).

Yoo designer Anastassia Kessaris explained Starck’s DNA in the design. The corridors are lined with Venetian mirrors to welcome visitors. Evoking Parisian chic are two-toned chandeliers. In all the units, plasma TV sets are framed like artworks.

The minimalist one-bedroom unit is decked like a hotel suite. As a reference to Starck’s culture, there are prints of Europe and France on accent walls and throw pillows. Another Starck trademark: juxtaposing luxurious items such as frosted glass dividers against non-luxe furniture, such as a wicker chair. The white color scheme in the bedroom is made warm by the mixture of textures such as velvet and linen upholstery and a furry stool on white lacquered flooring. The abstract print on the Tai Ping carpet breaks the monotony of the white.

“This is a small apartment, we don’t want to overdo it,” said Kessaris.

TIMBER and cord chairs and dining table with turned legs by European brand Hanson, lend class to the Filipino peacock chair with wicker dome light.

Nature themes

The nature-theme two-bedroom apartment is designed for people who aren’t ready for Starck’s provocative style. There are references to nature such as the wallpaper mimicking timber and a chair with a tree branch back alongside a ceramic tree stump. Instead of night tables, white swings flank a European-inspired bed frame.

The Philippine eagle and its feathers are a design peg for the culture-theme unit. “The Philippine eagle on the mirror doesn’t have a beautiful face. We put the Starck humor by cutting up the face so you can put your face in the hole,” said Kessaris.  “Starck is keen on adding  the local culture.” She pointed to chairs from the Kish store which doubled as side tables. Culture is also depicted in maps on the ceiling, text on the carpet, rolls of paper and letters as décor motifs, an accent wallpaper with book prints. In his trademark, Starck invented ceramic flooring that mimicked wood.

STARCK humor: If you can’t fit in the chair, then paint one.

Century Properties wanted high-impact design for Iguazu since its market has been expanding to overseas Filipinos and foreigners. “Our aim is to build progressive, world-class projects that are design-forward,” said Marco.

Hitchcox lauded Century Properties for its bravado.  “They are a very 21st-century developer. We travel around the world and spend our time in newly industrialized countries showing developers what we’ve done elsewhere. These guys are doing it all right themselves—from the adoption of organization, vertical living, integration and attention to detail to the community in the building. They are commercial winners, and are good for these towns. There’s a huge opportunity to regenerate the urban housing stock in Manila.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Acqua Private Residences , Century Properties , Condominium , Philippe Starck , property

  • Fz20

    maganda pa rin ang ikea….also, pinoy architects, why do they design mediocre kitchens or lack design of good kitchens?

  • DarkSideOfTheMoon2

    riverfront…overlooking the shanties….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMVWCOHPHH23HEVVYUI7XKY7TU Benny

    These apartments are simply too small at 30m2.  A standard 4 star hotel is larger.  Further, the quality of the apartments built by Century Properties at Grand Soho Makati is very, very poor.  The cheapest materials were used throughout. If Century are proposing a similar standard, they really should rethink the selling price as it should be 30% lower.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • 57-nation group plays key Ukraine monitoring role
  • French President Hollande’s top aide resigns
  • Japan to redesign Antarctic whale hunt after UN court ruling
  • Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak
  • Clinton White House documents set for release
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
    Marketplace