During the lockdown in the pandemic outbreak, people were stuck in their homes with no assurance until when this set-up would be. With most of their clients coming from condominiums and townhouses, Architect Paul Pena of Fitnesscape Creative Studios (FCS) envisioned a house that would suit all their needs.
“Our design intention was to come up with resort-type houses that will affect the well-being of the users in a positive way,” he said.
Coming from post-lockdown, people’s way of living has totally changed with hybrid set-ups. He wanted a house that would cater to his client’s new normal incorporating additional areas such as a home-school, office, garden and a gym that served as a place of solitude while still being located in the metro.
With FCS, when taking on a project, the design begins with surveying the lot, taking account of all of the natural elements that can be used to make the house complement its natural surroundings.
“To achieve this in the design process, first we needed to visit the lot to check any natural elements such as trees, or water, proper sun orientation, wind path and existing surroundings of the lot,” Pena said.
The “Sick Building Syndrome”
The time a person spends inside a building or a house can be directly-related to their health problems or their discomfort called the sick building syndrome. This is caused by poor air ventilation inside the structure, to combat this, FCS has used natural light and cross-ventilation to allow air to circulate the house and hot air to escape.
“[It] is well lighted and ventilated without using mechanical ventilation. We used enough glass openings that are properly oriented to allow natural light to enter but avoid heat. The openings were also positioned to allow cross – ventilation to circulate the house and hot air to escape,” Pena said.
Using their growing interest in sustainable materials and craftsmanship, FCS has used available and local materials to ensure that the structure fully commits to a healthy home and its inhabitants without compromising the quality.
“The house is mostly clad with wood that was sourced from a sustainable forest. The use of clay for roofs is also a sustainable material since it has a long life span,” he added.
Beating the sick building syndrome guarantees improved quality of life and longevity of the structure.
“We can avoid the sick building syndrome by improving the quality of life of the users through the use of natural light, ventilation, and the use of materials that will lessen the carbon footprint,” Pena said.
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Photography by Ed Simon