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What Would You Do If You Could Restore A Pinoy Heritage Site?

In photos: See how these PSID students created their own versions of Adaptive reuse on Pinoy heritage sites

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Photography: courtesy of PSID

With many Pinoy heritage sites either being demolished or damaged by fire, it is truly inspiring to hear news about these Filipino treasures being conserved or restored.

Adaptive Reuse is the main theme of the exhibit of the Philippine School of Interior Design’s (PSID) graduating class for 2018. “Juxtapose: Espasyo at Panahon” features 17 different spaces in three categories of existing Filipino heritage sites (residential, commercial, and industrial), and how the students interpreted and fitted out the spaces for modern use.

According to batch adviser, interior designer Nicky Jardenil, experts from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts worked with the students on conservation and adaptive reuse techniques and tips. With this exhibit, one only hopes that others will follow suit, and be inspired to rebuild and restore old structures, rather than demolish them, or abandon existing restoration projects.

Laurel Ancestral House in San Juan


Four generations of the Laurel family have lived in this ancestral home since 1927, one of the first houses built along F. Benitez Street in San Juan. A major renovation in 2010 restored this house’s structural integrity. As it is located in a residential area, the group of Kim Tigue, Kristine Escober, Pam Lachic, and Mary Teng chose to create a private spa within the home, retaining much of the house’s original design details, such as the capiz windows, grilles, and original wooden paneling.

Cabildo House in Vigan


Calle Crisologo is one of the main tourist attractions in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is lined with many centuries-old ancestral houses, most of which have been converted into shops, restaurants, and hotels, but the Cabildo house is still being used as a vacation house by the family. In the booth by Donna Causapin, Lara Ong, Ana Roble, and Nikka Mario, one room of the house has been converted into a confection of a fashion atelier, retaining many original details of the house, as well as some Secessionist–style calado work on the walls.

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Regina Building, Escolta


The 103-year-old Regina Building is one of the few original buildings standing in Escolta, undamaged by the war. Abi Lazo reinterprets its architectural elements of pedimented windows, balusers, bas-relief, and ornate ironwork into a coffee bar that incorporates many of the building’s Beaux Arts details.

Aduana Building, Intramuros


Also known as Intendencia, this Spanish Colonial structure has housed several government offices since it was built in 1823. In spite of it being damaged by heavy artillery in the Battle of Manila in 1945, it was ravaged by fire in 1979 and abandoned. There were plans to restore it as the National Archives building. The team of Elaine Hiloma, Denise Tuazon, Gwency Sobrepena, and Rein dela Cruz reimagined it as an ice cream parlor with a vintage vibe complete with old-fashioned soda fountain counter.

Tanduay Fire Station, Paco


Also known as Station No. 15, the Tanduay Fire Station was one of the first fire stations set up in Manila under the American regime by Hugh Bonner, a former chief of the New York Fire Department. The more-than-a-hundred-year-old structure still functions as a fire station, and the team of Sophia Aguado, Alecsa Alcantara, Rani Lorenzana, and Naomi Estiva repurposed the existing storage room as a co-working bar, reimagined with industrial-steampunk design details.

San Fernando Train Station, Pampanga


Built in 1892, this very historic train station in San Fernando witnessed National Hero Jose Rizal disembark to recruit friends to the La Liga Filipina. It was also the ending point of the Bataan Death March in 1942. The team of Justine Dacudao, Christina Locsin, Dianne Gonzales, and Jane Oracion transformed the station into a gentleman’s barber lounge, using the high ceilings and unique, brick arched windows as key design details.

Visit Juxtapose exhibit at the Santolan Town Plaza, 276 Col. Bonny Serrano Ave., Santolan, San Juan, until October 31. Follow the PSID 2018 graduating batch on their Facebook page. 

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