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Honoring Roots Of The Past

Casas La Vista.


BluPrint E-Magazine

Casas La Vista organically weaves itself around the existing nature on site, creating an active visual connection between the built environment and the natural environment.

The architectural roots of Casas La Vista make for a rather interesting story to tell. Originally built around 1985, Casas La Vista had been an imposing Renaissance-style mansion with intricately detailed Baroque interiors that held walls with gold moldings and illusionistic painted ceilings. Before entering the mansion, manicured hedge gardens, reminiscent of Paris’s Gardens of Versailles, would draw guests towards the home. The grandeur exuded by the European-inspired home was further heightened by the vast expanse of land it occupied. Casas La Vista is presently situated on six sizable plots of land in a gated community in the metro. Although the original mansion had been an homage to the classical styles of architecture, the owners found the design to be dated and felt that the ventilation of the home could be improved; and so, the owners decided to commission the partner architects Anthony Nazareno and Christian Guerrero of Nazareno + Guerrero Design Consultancy to reimagine the home.

Anthony wanted the architecture for both homes to be cohesive in terms of materiality and site context. The two homes had to be an architectural dialogue wherein each home would complement the other. While Utopia stone became the unifying element for both houses, the two homes still maintained a strong sense of individuality by keeping certain design elements unique to each home. The patriarch’s home exuded a much straightforward design; whereas the son’s home had a tinge of playfulness to it. Anthony and the NGDC team specifically designed experiential and sensorial spaces that would allow clients to connect closely with nature by virtue of walkable pathways, the pockets of green spaces, elements of water and by maximizing light and ventilation.

Sustainable design, which is closely related to Biophilic design, has always been at the forefront of NGDC’s design considerations. With climate change in our midst, NGDC has shifted their focus to greener and environmentally-conscious design strategies that would minimize the negative impact on the environment without sacrificing human comfort.

“It is important to incorporate biophilic design in what we do because the coexistence of architecture and nature elevates not just our design but also the lives of the occupants we design for. This, after all, is what meaningful architecture hopes to achieve.” Anthony explains as he focuses his gaze towards the landscape.

Biophilic design, according to Anthony, should go hand in hand with the architecture. More than the visual aspect, biophilic design was all about creating these experiential spaces where occupants could directly connect with nature. Aside from elevating the architectural design, biophilic design could drastically impact human behavior and improve productivity.

In every NGDC project, Anthony and Chris make a conscious effort to adapt the built environment with the natural environment on site by organically weaving the architecture around nature.

In collaboration with Plontur, a team of landscape architects, NGDC was able to bring to life a biophilic environment for Casas La Vista. Plontur Associate Director and Landscape Architect Diego Gonzalez defines a biophilic environment as man’s way of connecting with the natural world and forging a deeper biological connection with it.

With a vast plot of land to work with, both the architects and landscape designers had more flexibility in developing the site. Plontur felt that a modern tropical plant palette would best be suited for Casas La Vista because of their low maintenance properties. Adding to this, Plontur also considered the proportion of the plants with respect to the overall scale of the compound; for this reason, taller plants with large, textured, leaves were selected to complement the contemporary home.

  • Regina Chan. "Casas La Vista: Honoring Roots Of The Past" BluPrint. Webzine. 11 May 2023.


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