Kabana Treehouse: At One With Nature

December 10, 2021



Maria Rebecca Abaya

The Kabana Treehouse is a personal project by the principals of M+S Studio Co., Architects Marvin Albert Mariñas and Interior Designer Sheryl Germino-Mariñas. The husband and wife duo are both nature lovers and integrated nature into the design of this tiny home.

Alhibé Farm in Carmen, Cebu, is owned by the Mariñas and the property measures 1 hectare. When the pandemic hit, the owners moved back to their hometown and decided to build a cabana. On the hilly part of the property, they erected the Kabana Treehouse, an expansion of the “Tiny Home” they build amid the pandemic. Surrounded by lush greenery and vegetation, it exudes serenity along with its humble exteriors.

The Kabana Treehouse was intended as an extra space for their personal guests. As nature lovers, the couple made sure that it was composed of sustainably sourced materials, such as repurposed pipes for water to flow. The Mariñas used to own a cafe called Agwas in the city, so the furniture for the Kabana Treehouse was transported from there. While they admitted that the Kabana Treehouse was a last-minute decision, the construction only took three weeks and they couldn’t be prouder.

Trees were part of the interiors, so they incorporated ample-sized holes through the flooring and ceilings for the trees to grow through. The tree house thrived on an open space layout so people could also move around and enjoy lounging in this space in comfort and peace. The cabana could also be a work space. One would be able do yoga and exercise activities in this airy, relaxing area. Guests would get to sleep under the trees that are swarmed with fireflies, a wonderful and magical experience over all.

Climate is another consideration. Since the Philippines is a tropical country, the Kabana Treehouse is designed to allow natural air to flow within. The Mariñas believe that tropical architecture should be about allowing, rather than restricting. It certainly reflects on the cabana’s design and vibes. The laidback and inviting quality of this tiny home certainly epitomizes what it means to live slow.

On embracing the Filipino culture, Marvin and Sheryl agree that architecture also reflects one’s identity, especially when it comes to the land we are living in and how one grounds a home in their natural environment. This belief lends one to naturally live a calm yet productive life.

For an in-depth description and closer photos of The Kabana Treehouse, click on the link to BluPrint’s latest e-mag anniversary vol. 3 issue.

Photos by M+S Studio, Co.

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