A Unit for Each Sibling: This Modern-Tropical Townhouse in Marikina Used to Be an Ancestral House

The focal point of the townhouse is an open court that helps maximize natural light and ventilation

Photography: courtesy of InnovArc Design & Construction Architect: InnovArc Design & Construction

Located in Marikina, this three-unit townhouse used to be the owners’ ancestral home, a “matandang bahay” from the 1960s. The whole structure was divided into three to create homes for the three siblings—with InnovArc Design & Construction making sure each unit is well-planned and doesn’t look like a typical townhouse.

“We want to be away with the norm of designing a townhouse—enclosed with firewalls, limited fenestrations, and compromised spaces. The overall look and feel of the structure depict a modern contemporary design with a tropical vibe to suit up the general environment we are in. We want to portray a sensible design with strategic and purposeful details that will help resonate with the spaces’ intentions,” explains architect Justine Amor Garcia, the principal architect of InnovArc.

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The Oasis


The facade alone will clue you in on the vibe of the townhouse—it’s all about welcoming natural light and the breeze into the units. Each unit measures 125sqm, with the whole compound measuring 375sqm.

The Open Court

An open space reminiscent of parks, the open court connects units B and C while also serving as the property’s focal point. Aside from addressing the need for natural light and ventilation, it’s also designed to intertwine the spaces as the “lungs” of units B and C.

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Several planters, shrubs, and a central plant complete the area, making it an ideal place for cozy afternoons and quiet mornings. It can make the owners feel like they’re not in the center of a busy city.

Also seen from the open court are the jalousie windows used in the units. “We revived this impressive design that is timeless, taking advantage of airflow that will generate inside the structure,” says Arch. Justine.


Natural light can also stream into the space from these classic windows.

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Unit A

According to the design team, Unit A features an airy, minimalist approach that highlights a large open space at the back of the unit to accommodate the owners’ love for nature.


“The all-wood facade is composed of pressure-treated wood that’s destined to stand the test of time because we wanted to portray a landmark that’s timeless,” Arch. Justine explains.

Living Area

The living area setup mirrors the facade with wood serving as an accent. Behind the TV is a wooden accent wall with a herringbone pattern.

Dining Area


According to the design team, the preferences of the owners can be seen in how they personalized their units. In Unit A, the dining area features a round dining table and a work of art sprucing up the wall.

Master Bedroom

The private area has a minimalist feel with the wooden touches adding warmth. Instead of adding bedside tables to hold the lamp, the owners opted for matching pendant lights.

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Unit B

This unit is more subtle in terms of color and aesthetic—gray and muted tones are paired with clean lines and spacious areas.


The facades of units B and C highlight shape and form, with the play of angles and slopes very much evident.

Sun breaker

“We used decorative blocks as sun breakers to limit the sun’s direct shade as well as a buffer for the noise coming from the outside,” shares Arch. Justine.

Living Area


In this unit, the living area is dominated by neutral colors, warm lighting, and wooden touches. From this part of the unit, there’s access going to the open court through glass sliding doors.

Dining Area

A solid wood dining table is paired with matching dining chairs in the dining area. Like in any home, it’s important to create a dining area that’s ideal for sharing meals and welcoming guests.

Bar Nook

Sleek wooden barstools complete the bar area that’s located just a few steps away from the dining area.

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Unit C

Unit C features a playful design, with a vibrant color scheme, lines, forms, shades, and textures coming together to create a cohesive look.

Living Area

“The arrangements, color scheme, and a hint of the open court complete the living area set up,” Arch. Justine says. In Unit C’s living area, a solid green accent wall serves as the perfect backdrop for the neutral furniture pieces.


Instead of leaving the wall behind the TV bare, a wooden backdrop that complements the wall on the other side and the center table was installed.

Dining Area

“This area is one of the highlights of the houses,” says the architect. Some of the furniture pieces are proudly made in Betis, Pampanga, a place known for export-quality woodwork. “We wanted to empower the makers and reintroduce their products by incorporating them into the overall feel of the structure,” he adds.

Dining Area and Open Court

A glass sliding door connects the dining area to the inviting open court. When the weather is nice, the owners can slide the door open to let the feel of the outdoors into the home.

READ: This Quaint House in the Middle of a Rice Field Has a Swimming Pool


According to Arch. Justine, the kitchens in the units, including this one in Unit C, are designed with quartz and granite paired with accent stones and lighting on the bar counter. “The setup imitates the homey feels while allowing the owners to bond through cooking which in turn strengthens family ties,” he says.


Master Bedroom

“The bedrooms are designed with a play of colors and lighting. One common denominator in all master bedrooms is the incorporation of a bay window as this feature relates to a ‘resting’ place while allowing us to add storage space,” explains the architect.


One of the bedrooms was transformed into a gym as requested by the owners. To deliver the space, the design team created an industrial-inspired look with cement-like walls and a ceiling with wooden slats. “This extends to the balcony part of the facade which can also be used as another space for relaxation,” Arch. Justine shares.

Common Area

This multipurpose area was made for entertainment and celebrations, with the overall design showcasing an industrial feel. In the seating area, the natural brown leather sofa looks inviting.

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“The use of natural bricks and wood slats are evident while a bar is provided to accommodate the client’s request,” the architect says.

A sliding door opens up to the balcony, a space where the owners and their guests can marvel at the view of the highlands of Rizal.


Mirroring the modern-industrial aesthetic of some of the areas, the T&B features the pairing of light- and dark-colored tiles, sleek bathroom fixtures, and a round mirror to soften up the look.

Ready to achieve your dream home? Get in touch with InnovArc Design & Construction through Facebook: You can also email them at info.innovarcdesignbuild[at]

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