Trava and Greenfield Development Corporation approach innovation with a natural touch | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Trava is the heart of Greenfield Deluxe developments. Its sprawling 33-hectares is a ground of innovation and dreams. At its core are the values of sustainability and innovation.

Team Locsin worked with Greenfield Development Corporation in the creation of the various amenities and model houses of Trava. These serve as the benchmark for the possibilities within the development.

How did they achieve this? Through a conscious approach that perceives how every aspect connects to one another.

Primary to this is respect for the natural landscape. “The land is actually the primordial force. It’s up to us as thinking creatures to try to figure out how to create utility, usability, and agency on the land, with nature being the primary driving force.” Hence, you get structures that feel natural to the surroundings rather than just imposed.

For the infinity pool that overlooks the sloping terrain, for example, Team Locsin explains they worked with the existing conditions. There is a certain attention to detail for the clubhouse and the roof garden that makes sure it “blends naturally with the environment.”

Another feature of Trava is how the architects took the history of the land to contextualize their design. They emphasize this philosophy: “Nothing is ever really a tabula rasa. Everything exists in some kind of context.”

With this being said, you will notice Trava’s homage to Filipino design and features. You will see how elements from traditional homes were  reinterpreted. This lends further to the ethos of sustainability — working with what you have naturally to the best advantage. Team Locsin explains how they incorporated elements of a bahay kubo and bahay na bato in their design through large overhangs and natural ventilation. “When you look at the overall approach to that house, it recalls, to some degree, sort of the old models of Asian architecture here in the Philippines. It’s an abstracted version of the kubo or a bahay na bato, where the upper floor’s footprint is somewhat larger than the ground floor. It’s not literal. It’s definitely not a bahay na bato. But the principles of it are embedded.

Trava champions local materials and sustainable options. Team Locsin breaks down the benefits of this in two ways:

First, that sustainability doesn’t just refer to the technical aspects. It also contributes to how a house feels like a welcoming home. “Sustainable homes require less energy and enhance the occupant’s comfort. It’s not just this idea of savings in terms of your energy consumption, but it also gives you that sense of ease, and that relaxed feeling that we’re looking for, especially in residential developments.”

Second, Team Locsin sought to use local materials.  This immediately reduces carbon footprints by lowering transport costs and energy consumption. It also helps the economy, maximizing the benefits to all. “The idea with sustainability is that it is a win all around.”

Trava recognizes that sustainability is also about the long term. Upfront, eco-friendly materials and adjustments may initially cost a bit more. However, they tend to last and lower operating costs. In summary, the end goal is creating homes that remain relevant — it’s not much more of an expense if you think about it. “Actually, our main design philosophy for the model houses is the idea of timelessness and value.”

That being said, the difference one feels while in Trava is that sustainability is not imposed on you. You experience it with your five senses. “ Even if you cannot articulate this in your head, you’ll somehow feel the difference subliminally. One realizes the value in your own terms, in the way you possibly live…. that you will not feel constrained by four walls…. that somehow you have direct access visually to the atmosphere and the environment…. to the outside. A lot of this is trust. We prefer that kind of a nonprescriptive approach. But the product or the design really does speak for itself. All you have to do is make the effort to go and see.”

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