Arts & Culture

This Fun, Modern Industrial Office Will Inspire You

Graphic, playful accents in a modern industrial interior make this ad office in a midcentury building a cool place hang out in. Plus, its pantry looks like a restaurant!

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Hans Fausto Styling: Tala Singson assisted by Kamila Garcia

When advertising production house ManilaMan was established, it had only four people—its founders—in a 12sqm office space. When the team grew to 12, they eventually moved into a 65sqm playground. But further expansion and the need for extra room for client meetings and freelance suppliers required more space. Good thing an office freed up at Pacific Office Machines Building along EDSA near Greenhills, one of the oldest, mid-century, Brutalist-style buildings in the area.

According to managing director Miguel Gutierrez, they felt lucky to have stumbled upon this 250-sqm open-layout space. “Suwerte kami when we got here. Everything was fixed, [even if] outside, luma na yung building,” says Miguel. The previous tenant left after less than a year, so the walls and flooring, among others, were practically new. “The layout has always been like this, with a glass partition for the boardroom,” Miguel adds. All the staff had to do was clean up and bring in their work desks.

“The main focus of the office design is the experience of everyone—not just the clients, but also the employees, and even the suppliers when they come here. That’s…what really brings the projects to us,” Miguel explains. 


Miguel Gutierrez, together with Alec Rivera, Paolo Abrihan, and Gio Puyat, founded the advertising production house ManilaMan in 2012. As a startup, they did mostly event coverage, and later transitioned into producing TV commercials, digital ads, and cinema ads. “We want projects where we have more input in terms of creativity and execution,” adds Miguel.  

Receiving area

The reception area—with its gray sofa, reproduction lounge chair and ottoman, and guitars—has a cool, relaxed look that makes you feel like you’re hanging out in your friend’s house. You can get an original Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman locally at CWC Interiors. 


One of the accent walls in this office features a mural printed with huge, colorful flowers. You can create an accent wall like this in your own home to create a focal point that will break the monotony of, say, a neutral-colored room. You can have printed murals done at Sticker Printing Manila, or if you want hand-painted murals, try Murals by Halcyon House. 

Main office

The main working area has a modern industrial vibe with hints of breezy Scandinavian aesthetics. While there are individual working stations, there are common spaces and lounge areas which encourage collaboration. 

Boardroom 1

The glass walls of the boardroom give the privacy needed for client meetings without cramping the space. Most of the bare concrete walls are left unpainted throughout, adding to the industrial vibe. 

Boardroom 2

The midcentury-era building’s original window grilles are retained, and window blinds are not used, allowing natural light to come through the boardroom. Get similar wire lamps like these at SM Home. 


Bob Marley and Beatles posters add to the hip, hangout-style atmosphere of the communal lounge area in the pantry. You can get stackable white chairs like these at Match Contract. 


The office pantry looks very much like a cool dining spot with its bright red colors and metal bar stools. Many friends tease the Manila Man staff to host a party in the office—in fact, they’ve given in a couple of times. “Pumupunta talaga sila, even clients,” says Miguel. “I guess that’s a compliment. When I invite them here, they really come because they know it’s going to be a good party.”

Boardroom Shelves

Found throughout the office—and occasionally used as wall décor—are props for shoots and personal gifts from the directors they work with.

Read the original article ("ManilaMan: Modern Playground") in the June 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

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