Stunning Pieces of Furniture Breathe New Life Into the CCP
A culture grounded on pakikisama enabled up and coming furniture brand Artesania to design pieces that became part of a rich history
For more than four decades, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has been the premier venue for different events that promote various forms of art—from theatre and dance, to visual arts and cinema. Designed by National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin, the building showcases the brutalist style, with a structure that’s recognizable even from afar.
Aside from the countless plays and shows that have taken place within the building’s four walls, it also witnessed huge milestones and historic events. Just recently, the CCP served as the venue for the opening ceremony of this year’s ASEAN Summit, with world leaders and other dignitaries gracing its halls.
The lighting pieces—floor lamps and table lamps—used in the different areas were provided by Venzon Lighting.
To mark the event, they tapped a young and promising player in the furniture industry not only to refurbish the decades-old pieces in the building, but to design furniture just in time for the summit as well. Artesania, formerly known as Mozaic Living, rose to the occasion and delivered what’s needed.
Artesania was given freedom to recommend pieces that will work for the CCP. “Prior to sitting down with the team, we were given a tour of the specific areas that we need to furnish. We were able to see decades worth of art, as well as some beautiful capiz and abacca originals,” shares designer Edmund Baduria, the head of the design team who worked on the project. Inspired by what they have seen within the complex, the Artesania team knew that they had to work on timeless designs.
Taking inspiration from the national theatre and key points they were able to gather from their tour around the complex such as the exposed lattice and brutalist look of some of the areas of the CCP, the team went to work. “As a designer, repetitions and lines are very evident in my work, that’s why the team decided to incorporate that aesthetic into the furniture. Artesania is all about marrying indigenous materials like rattan, abacca, and solihiya with modern design, therefore this made for a beautiful collection,” explains Edmund.
Edmund and two more designers, Trish Jarque and Emmanuelle Lafague, worked on the concepts and versatile designs to be checked by the factory team. This is done to ensure the integrity of the designs and how each can be improved. In less than a month, the Artesania team was able to create and refurbish a total of 61 pieces in time for the ASEAN Summit. With their culture of pakikisama, they were able to deliver what was expected—amazing pieces of furniture that will captivate anyone who steps inside the CCP.
“This project is definitely one for the books as we were all part of such a monumental event. We were able to showcase what Filipino craftsmen and designers are capable of doing in one of the country’s most prestigious theatres, and to top it off, for one of the most important events in this part of the world. This was the epitome of our company ethos of pakikisama, being able to help in our little way for our country. We’ve always said that pakikisama in our community is the best way for our industry and commerce to grow, and once that gains traction, we do our bit to help our country, a micro to macro perspective,” share Francine Gacrama and Francesca Gacrama-Herring, owners of Artesania.
Here’s a peek into Artesania’s collection which debuted at the ASEAN Summit:
The Constancia wire chair features the beauty of steel. "The silhouette of the chair gives off an illusion as if it were floating," says Edmund.
The Amelia Set highlights the use of mahogany wood with a loose upholstered cushion seat. "It was assigned to the green room of the CCP. The design features repetitions of wood blocks with torno legs," shares Edmund.
Artesania also came up with a Torno Set, pieces of furniture that show how one can work with solid mahogany wood. These pieces were used in the VIP holding area where the presidents and representatives mingle before the event.
The Lorenzo lounge chair takes inspiration from the Barrel Chair, a Mozaic Living piece.
Who wouldn't be captivated by this table's unique form? The Ciela coffee table has mirrored Cs and round poles as base.
It looks like the Ciela coffee table, but if you look closely, you'll see that it has a different base. The Sinagtala coffee table has an enchanting S-base.
The Gregorio two-seater sofa is a bigger version of the Lorenzo lounge chair.
Any area would be extra inviting with the Silang two-seater sofa. While it looks a lot like the Barrel Chair, the Silang has a more straightforward design with slanted legs.
Is it a stool, a bench, or an ottoman? It can be all! The Helena wire bench is a three-piece modular bench that can function as a coffee table, as an ottoman, or as a bench.
"The Adarna chair is made of mild steel and rattan vines, a simplified version of the iconic peacock chair," says Edmund.
The Slat Set takes the spotlight in President Rodrigo Duterte's personal holding room. Made specifically for the said area, it features pieces made from solid mahogany wood.
"The Isko Armchair and the Rodrigo two-seater sofa highlight sharp elements that reflect the president's personality," explains Edmund. Both pieces showcase clean lines.
Inspired by a carousel, the Santiago coffee table features a geometric, whimsical base.
The Matias stool also takes inspiration from the carousel. It perfectly complements the Santiago coffee table.
Similar to what's seen in the Iska armchair and Rodrigo two-seater, the Abe narrow console (left side) also has sharp repetitive wood slats.
Francine and Francesca would also like to give credit to their factory team in Angono, Rizal for working hard on the pieces. "If there's one thing that Artesania keeps true to, it's being able to uplift the Filipino pride," they share.
Fell in love with the pieces, too? Artesania focuses on custom-made furniture. Should you wish to own a piece of history, the team can recreate these pieces for your space. To learn more, follow Artesania Furniture on Instagram.
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