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The Inspiring Renovation of My Children’s House of Hope

The UP Interior Design Class of 2016 gives back to the community through Tinig: Design that Speaks

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Photography: Chira dela Cruz

Successfully designing spaces—whether it’s a dream home, a building, or even just a compact nook for your hobbies—brings a sense of fulfillment that’s incomparable and priceless. It would be even more special if your project touches the lives of others, too.

Every year, the graduating batch of BS Interior Design from the University of the Philippines—Diliman gets to design and renovate their chosen institution as part of ID 179: Special Projects in Interior Design. Aside from allowing the students to experience handling their first project as designers, it’s also an opportunity to give back and pay it forward.

Under the supervision of Dr. Raquel B. Florendo, Ph.D., the class initiated Tinig: Design that Speaks, a renovation project of My Children’s House of Hope (Bahay Bata 127). The project involves the renovation of 11 areas such as the common room, the playroom, the kitchen, and the speech pathology rooms, to name a few.

Established in 2004 by an American couple, Bahay Bata 127 started out as an annual mission trip that offered feeding and grooming programs for children in the Payatas area. It slowly turned into a community center that opened its doors to children who are hearing impaired and evolved into what it is today—they also opened a preschool for toddlers and after school activities for both primary and secondary students.

Prior to renovation, the center had colorful walls and a few nooks that could use some storage solutions and natural light. In order to improve the space, the team decided to break down walls and change the layout of the floor plan. This enabled them to maximize the space and create more open and flexible areas. The actual renovation of the center took around three and a half months to accomplish.

Foyer

Before the renovation, the foyer looked like a garage that poses safety and security problems. To address these, the team came up with the concept of Ripples, with the intention of radiating energy and cheerfulness.

The wave pattern on the floor also directs people going in and out of the center.

The space was turned into a small indoor-outdoor play area with a tree deck, a Tangram set, a sandbox, and a greenwall too! All of these additional elements would give the children new experiences and activities to try.

Hallway and Storage

In this space, the storage nook can also work as a waiting area for guests. Since it's now open and bright, it can be hard to imagine that it was once a cramped and dimly lit area.

The storage is modular in nature, making it very easy to move and place. We loved how it features playful colors that work well with the design and feel of the whole center.

Common Room

To address the lack of light and privacy in the common area, the team worked with the concept of Pugad or Nest in mind. They wanted to showcase the idea of nurturing the youngsters in a safe and ideal haven.

Since the space is used for film showings, study groups, and meetings—it needs a partition that will separate one area from the other. 

In the middle of the room, a movable shelf provides ample storage while separating the computer and conference areas. The touches of wood give the common room a warm and inviting feel.

Aside from providing extra storage space, the shelf is also used to display books, decor, and decals showing the alphabet in sign language. For the renovation, the team made sure that the pieces are lovely and functional, too.

Classroom

According to the design team, the classroom used to be narrow, cramped, and poorly ventilated. To be able to turn the room into a place where kids can think, learn, and be creative, they transformed it into a multifunctional space with light colors.

Notice something special about this shelf? Aside from the colors and interesting shapes, it is also where the tables are hidden—the colorful hexagons are actually the tabletops! With this setup, the pieces can be easily kept after use—especially if there are activities that require an open space.

The bright colors and unique shapes chosen for the tables, storage, and chairs inject life into the learning space and make each session more fun for the children. Choosing bright colors can fuel their creativity and make the room more conducive to different activities.

The designers also improved the walls by hand-painting a mural to serve as an accent in the classroom.

Playroom

Taking inspiration from the hummingbird, the design team envisioned a space that's light, flexible, and lively. To accomplish this, they made the most of natural light, incorporated multipurpose furniture, and prioritized storage. 

We especially loved the tree mural which serves as the focal point in the space.

Speech Pathology Room

This is the room dedicated for the foundation's speech therapy program and reserved for young hearing impaired children who are still able to learn how to hear through vibrations.

For this space, the designers worked with a technical and basic aesthetic. All of the elements highlight the room's function—from the use of acoustic insulation and accent padded walls to the installation of mirrors. The mirrors help the children learn through imitation via the volunteer speech pathologist.

Office

Some offices may look very plain and dull. To be able to create a space where one can feel motivated and inspired, the team took a few cues from the river. Curves and dynamic forms are highlighted as well as hints of blue and yellow liven up the room.

As the designers put it: "As the river is the small body of water that flows to the large ocean, so is the work that happens in this small office that leads to an even greater cause."

Kitchen

How can you turn a limited area into an efficient space? The proper choice of materials helped improve the kitchen. The interior is composed of smooth, reflective surfaces with wood accents. As an extra touch, the designers DIYed a painted glass on the overhead cabinets as well.

Bathrooms

The bathrooms showcase a dynamic and flexible design. One wouldn't think that these spaces used to be poorly ventilated and dark. 

Same with the other areas, the private spaces also highlight the mix-and-match of different colors, patterns, and interesting touches. 

My Children's House of Hope is located at  2700 IBP Road, Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City. To learn more about their programs and how you can volunteer, you may call (0917) 836-1401.

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