PXP Design Workshop Walks Us Through This Contemporary Minimalist Condo
If you have been with CondoLiving for quite a time, it would only take one look to recognize the distinct contemporary and minimalist design style of PXP Design Workshop Co, one of the many design studios we love. While it’s true that the studio’s core design philosophy heavily traces its roots in clean, functional, and timeless spaces, they never fail to bring something new to the table every time they design a new space. Let’s take this contemporary minimalist condo they recently finished for Rolly and Anna Pocco, a lovely couple in their pre-retirement years.
Rolly and Anna were referred by one of the design studio’s previous clients who also happened to be the couple’s nephew. According to architect Patrick Espiritu of PXP, the nephew referred them because he believes that they share the same design style with the couple who decided to move into an approximately 180sqm condo from their landed house. The couple opted to live in a condominium as it is more convenient for them to go to their office that is on the lower floor of the same building they’re living in now.
“This will be the first time that they will live in a condo. So a lot of thought was given and considerations taken so as to preserve the lifestyle that they are used to,” shares Patrick. “We made them narrate their everyday schedule and activities—what they do the moment they wake up, to the moment they go to sleep; so that all of the little things that they’re used to can be captured and be translated into physical form,” he furthers.
Whenever outdoors, Rolly enjoys playing golf and riding his motorcycle, while Anna loves shopping in her free time. The couple likes to spend time at home relaxing, watching movies, reading books, and playing with their pet, Lulu the Lhasa Apso. They also like collecting small sculptures and artworks. In fact, a Ramon Orlina sculpture set on a stone pedestal with a bronze metal frame greets anyone entering the unit.
The entryway is a bit deep, so the mirror on the right of the hallway that conceals the kitchen creates an illusion, making the space appear wider. Opposite the mirrored glass is a wall of woodgrain cabinets, blending in with the rest of the wall finish. Above the cabinets are vertical screens masking the air-conditioning unit.
The hallway then opens to the dining area, adorned with a Shiela Molato artwork. Although the kitchen adjacent to the dining area is concealed, the glass cladding allows to maintain the visual connection between the two spaces. “We knocked down the walls in the kitchen and converted the solid wall into glass to continue the visual connection of the kitchen and the dining area, while preventing all the kitchen odor and smoke from getting out to the dining and living space. The glass wall also helped to bring in daylight into the kitchen, making it a vibrant place to hangout,” Patrick explains.
Across the dining area is the cozy living area with an extended height that makes it even more expansive. “Originally, there were pipes running across the living room and the bedrooms. However, we saw the potential to redesign the piping line and reroute the pipes into the wall perimeter in order to gain another 300mm,” Patrick explains the added ceiling height.
The mirrored glass is continued to the entertainment unit, concealing the television when not in use. On the other side is a full wall of big porcelain panels acting as a backdrop in the living room. Patrick says that the heavily veined marble is gorgeous enough to double as artwork, so he opted to keep the space devoid of any wall art.
“The core philosophy of our studio is to design a clean, functional, and timeless space. We always strive to make all geometries as clean as possible, less kinks, no visible beams, and no visible air-conditioning units—taking out all visual clutters from the end users like a well designed Swiss watch, compact, precise and stylish,” Patrick points out.
From the living spaces, another hallway leads to the personal spaces, except for the powder room to the left and the storage room behind the living area. The powder room sports a Gessi faucet and a custom wall lighting by PXP.
The hallway that leads to the bedrooms past the powder and storage rooms, is dressed in faux fabric wall panels for easy maintenance. Initially, the unit has four bedrooms and one maid’s quarter. The design studio converted two of the rooms into what is now the storage room, and the other the spacious walk-in closet that the lady of the house listed as her must-have area in the condo unit.
“The clients requested to put a lot of storage and a bigger walk in closet. However, since all of the rooms have no walk-in closets, we transformed one of the rooms adjacent to the master bedroom into a full size walk in closet,” Patrick states.
In the first bedroom, the same mirror, woodgrain, AC screen, and faux fabric panel composition continues. A full height closet stands adjacent to the bedroom door, facing the bed, which frame doubles as storage space. The night stands on either side veer away from the usual boxy cabinets, sporting a metal frame with open storage underneath. To the left of the bed is a modest study area with an open shelving integrated into the wall, and a cantilevered work desk.
The master bedroom didn’t have a lot of reflective finishes except for a few metal details, but the soft fabric and woodgrain elements remain in the design. The space, according to Patrick, is an example of a carefully planned room.
“Ms. Anna told us that they read books inside their room every night before going to sleep. So, she specifically requested a ledge behind the headboard for their books and some of her stuff. We have translated this narrative by providing them bookshelves right beside their bed, a ledge they specifically requested, and a night lamp on each side for their late night reading. The ledge was designed with a metal lining so as to complement the full height fabric headboard,” Patrick describes.
The master bath is a stark contrast to the predominantly light and neutral color palette of the contemporary minimalist condo unit. “We presented them different color palettes to choose from (beige, gray, and hints of purple), and the client chose earth colors. We worked around the color choices and strategized how to punch the areas with colors,” starts Patrick when asked about how they came up with the color scheme for the unit.
“We decided that fixed components like cabinet, walls, and floors will all be neutral in colors while soft furnishings like throws, cushion cover, etc. will be kept as the source of colors. And since the color choices are earth colors that evoke warmth, we punctuated it with cold materials like stone and bronze as we’ve always believed in a balance in materiality,” he continues.
Next to the master bedroom is the walk-in closet equipped with a lot of storage space occupying the walls of the room. In the middle is a rack for hanging and storage for their luggage bags. On one side is a desk by a window, which according to Patrick was extended from a half height window to a full height, along with the other windows throughout the unit. Doing so helps to bring in more daylight to the contemporary minimalist condo.
“Although all our previous projects follow the same style, proportion and order, each of them vary in terms of materiality; all reflecting their individual users. With this project, we explored bronze, gold metal, wood, fabric, and a big slab marble—things that mirror the style and personality of our clients,” says Patrick.
“The shapes and edges are masculine, carefully balanced with feminine touches of white heavily grained marble, gold metal, and soft colors, each an ode to the husband and the wife,” he concludes.