Drive along the ridge of this holiday destination and you will see European style houses in between family restaurants and malls. This does not come as a surprise, as most home owners, up until the middle of the last decade, had a tendency to build Euro fantasy castles. These looked like they were plucked from Florence and air dropped in the Philippines, to help the owner fulfil their fantasy Italian village life right here in the tropics.
Not this house by Architect Ed Ledesma. Built about 15 years ago in cooperation with Arm Design, this house is the antithesis of what I just described. This home is clean and simple, yet at the same time, exudes warmth. This is quite a feat, which only a master can successfully pull off.
The glass creates an open feel, allowing the view to be appreciated without obstruction. Normally, a modern glass house runs the risk of looking like an office building, or car showroom, which, I’m sure, Ledesma took into consideration when choosing the exterior finishes. As the silhouette is definitely futuristic, the risk of being visually cold and uninviting is a real possibility. But, as all master architects know, in order to breath life into a project’s appearance, the trick is to install natural stone and wood elements into the exterior, and magically give warmth and a country feel.
In this case, Ledesma uses Indonesian Palimanan Limestone for the fence and lower walls, expressing a tropical emotion to the viewer. Then, wood is used as the facade, seemingly giving a stylized nod to the log cabin concept typically found in mountain resort towns.
Though these details on the exterior are warm and rustic, the “feel” changes seamlessly on entering the house, and transitions into a clean and minimalistic aesthetic. Inside, gigantic slabs of Kaufman Sabia beige terrazzo are used for the floors, and Kaufman limestone ribbing for the walls. The clean and precise interior produces a light and open feel. This uplifting lightness seems to counter balance the warmth and rustic nature of the exterior.
All these details may be invisible to most people, but not to a stone supplier like myself, or anyone interested in design. Such subtle material choices make all the difference. Materials make the house.