Buensalido Architects, a contemporary architecture and design studio based in the Philippines, focus on original, innovative, bold, and dynamic design solutions. Believing that life is only but a set of random events and elements that falls into place at different moments, it is up to us to make sense of it by piecing the fragments together. 

A similar design theory is applied to their building designs. Unusual patterns, unique silhouettes, and dynamic compositions, all come together to form a contextual design strategy. 

Founded in 2006, with a passion to serve fresh design concepts to the Philippine design setting, Buensalido Architects finds a way to balance different design components using intelligence and imagination to form a coherent design solution. 

Keeping in mind Filipino architecture and redefining it through modern interpretations using its basic principles as a foundation is what The Buensalido Architects are known for. 

The Polygon House by Buensalido+Architects: Polygonal Thinking - Sheet1
The Polygon House_©BuensalidoArchitects

The Polygon House, located in Taguig, in Metro Manila and led by Principal Architect Jason Buensalido, is a classic example of the driving design development process led by the firm. The project is a residence that spans an area of 750 square meters. 

The design development began with accessing the plot, perimeters, and the height guidelines in the neighborhood. Buensalido Architects then created a building massing volume that would maximize space requirements, provide ample daylighting, create canopies and balconies, and most importantly, build a facade that morphs to the function of its internal spaces. 

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The Polygon House_©BuensalidoArchitects

The Polygon House looks like an origami form with parallelograms and other angular forms that zigzag through the facade that forms an arrow to point to the horizon. The polygonal silhouette of the building is an attempt to develop new ways of designing buildings. Jason Buensalido believes that the way space is used differs from person to person and a designer does not need to be cuboidal, rectilinear, or orthogonal. 

The clients for this project are an entrepreneurial couple and their three children. Together they have an interest in fashion and cars, both connoting movement and fluidity. He believed that a polygonal form would perfectly encapsulate the client’s lifestyle and brief rather than a typical rectangular form. 

A free-flowing layout and spatial design encapsulate the polygonal thought process for the project. The numerous sides of the polygonal form conceptualize different solutions and different ways of thinking about a project. 

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The Polygon House_©BuensalidoArchitects

The design process was kickstarted by performing massing studies. This helped in identifying solids and voids, and how the voids could turn into living spaces for the clients. The building would then take its polygonal form by enveloping or wrapping these voids. 

The building comprises three cuboids representing three floors that are stacked and have each planar surface broken down into smaller polygonal forms. These polygons adjust and adapt to the voids and allow the volumes to be shaped by how each space would be used. 

The spaces were segregated into private and public as the family enjoys entertaining but also prioritizes their privacy. The challenge was to add a six-car garage, a swimming pool, an entertainment area, guest rooms, and private rooms, all within the 300 square meter plot area.

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The Polygon House Living Room_©BuensalidoArchitects

The initial brief for The Polygon House asked for a living area with high ceilings or a double-height space, but Buensalido Architects were successful in providing a triple-height vertical space to maximize sunlight. The grand heights give the impression of a more spacious living room than it is. 

The glass facade is composed of double-paned Low-E glass filled with argon that lowers down the heat from the morning sun. It was also extremely important for the clients to have a safe space for their children. A glass flooring was installed on the main floor that looks down to the entertainment area of the house. This made it convenient to look out for their children and also let natural light enter the lower space during sunlit hours. 

The entertainment area on the lower ground floor accommodates the swimming pool, a living room, maid’s quarters, and a couple of guest rooms. Among the private spaces, the master bedroom is the largest with lounging zones, working desks, and an opulent bathroom clad in rich marble and warm gold accents. 

The three children’s rooms have been designed keeping each individual in mind. One features a futuristic, space theme with blue and gold accent colors, the second bedroom has a gamer theme and also has a rock-climbing wall installed with an inbuilt bunk bed. The third bedroom features a more soft aesthetic with a suspended bed, rustic vanity, and a traditional interior design. 

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The Polygon House Living Room_©BuensalidoArchitects
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The Polygon House Dining Area_©BuensalidoArchitects
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The Polygon House Swimming Pool_©BuensalidoArchitects
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The Polygon House Master Bedroom_©BuensalidoArchitects

The building was designed to maximize usable spaces. The location poses its challenges that forbid cantilevers and eaves that extend to more than half a meter, Buensalido Architects solved this by pushing the polygonal forms inwards to create canopies that help with shading and cooling down space. The east wall of The Polygon House inclines inwards and creates a small cantilever that does not extend over the existing property lines. 

The house was constructed using the Bahay Na Bato construction method. Bahay Na Bato translates to ‘house of stone’ and has transformed over the ages since its inception. Its architectural rules are based on the climate of the location. The upper three floors use a steel framing structure while the lower ground floor is made using poured concrete which gives the house a heavy base in case of any flooding. 

The polygonal architectural thought process resulted in an unconventional and dynamic silhouette for the house that conceptualized movement. The interiors were designed to be practical and aesthetically pleasing for the clients and their interests. Buensalido architects focus on the function of the space but also give it a form that encapsulates its client’s personalities and their lifestyles. 

The Polygon House embodies the power of design and its effect on the quality of life. Every action taken to build the house has reasoning and a concept behind it. It serves as a reminder to always be thoughtful in everything we do. 

References:

  1. Llona, M., 2018. Buensalido’s polygon house is the result of out-of-the-box thinking. BluPrint, [online] (Vol. 3). Available at: <https://bluprint.onemega.com/buensalido-polygon-house/> .
  2. Branding, V., 2021. Modern Architectural, Interior and Urban Design Manila, Philippines › Buensalido+Architects. [online] Buensalido+Architects. Available at: <https://www.buensalidoarchitects.com/>.
Author

Rashmi Nair is an architect, interior designer, and fashion illustrator who is an ardent lover of all things design. She strives to be sustainable in design and life and strongly believes in the ‘Less is More’ idealogy. She enjoys exploring museums, reading, making lists, and a hot cup of coffee

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