Download Philippine Architecture.pdf PDF

TitlePhilippine Architecture.pdf
File Size46.0 KB
Total Pages15
Document Text Contents
Page 14

With Filipino architects becoming more at ease in the modern idiom and more aware
of the Filipino’s search for cultural identity, they became more concerned with
questions like: Is there such a thing as Filipino architecture? Were the works of
Filipino architects mere imitationsof Western models? Would a modern Filipino
architecture eventually develop? And the questions are valid. For the art and science
of architecture is not only a response to human needs—the need for shelter, the need
for order, the need for beauty, and the need for a sense of transcendence; it is also
fundamentally a search for identity.

The variety of houses and buildings that emerged through centuries of Philippine
history, from one end of the archipelago to the other, yield common characteristics
that should be considered by young architects concerned with a Philippine style of
architecture. One feature of the Filipino house, and hence, of Filipino architecture, is
the concept of space and the interrelation of different spaces like outdoor and indoor
space, and the various areas of indoor space. An interior space is a space surrounded
by space. Rooms open to adjacent rooms, or within a room, different spaces are
created by means of levels or visual dividers. Space becomes a place for gathering or
for solitude while remaining integrated. It is a function of personal relations. Also, in
a tropical climate, a house must breathe. Thus transparency has become a feature of
the Filipino house. It allows for cross ventilation or better circulation of air.
Transparency also arises from the relation of spaces. Even when interior space is
well covered and protected, the character of transparency is somehow expressed.
Then there is the lightheartedness of the Filipino, which is reflected in the visual
lightness of architecture. A structure appears to be a floating volume. Massive
structures are treated in such a way that they look light.

In addition, the Filipino—who lives in a lush, baroque landscape—seems not to be
comfortable with empty space or plain, unadorned surfaces. Space has to be filled,
or broken up, or at least, be the setting for texture. Lastly, the play of space, visual
lightness, transparency of structure, and texture all contribute to a spirit of festivity,
or better still, of tropical festivity. Filipinos love their fiestas, and architecture
becomes one of their forms of celebration.

But the search for form and the search for identity must also consider new conditions
and directions. The vastly increased population demands that today’s architecture be
concerned not only with the design of individual buildings, but with the design of
communities. This means more than mass housing. It means creating communities
that are economically self-sufficient, environmentally safe and healthy, and
adequately provided with services, such as schools and hospitals.

As the city dominates contemporary life and devours land for its infrastructure and
megaprojects, will there still be space for every needy person to have a decent
dwelling? Or shall one have to accept, as inevitable, living in one small compartment
of an urban honeycomb? The single dwelling anchored to the ground signifies respect
for the individuality of the occupant, while the multidwelling complex stresses the
need for community. Architects are challenged to create the kind of dwelling that

Similer Documents