A Sleek And Stark Modern Minimalist Condo By A Cebu-based Architect
Architect Jorge Rocha of Zubu Design Associates has moved in to his 24sqm condo at the heart of the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu, last July. Serves as a sleek and stark contrast to this old city, his unit sports sharp lines and edges, and straightforward layout—essentially a personification of the Cebuano modernist that he is. Dressed in white, made more alive with hints of blue, gray, and beige, this contemporary minimalist condo serves as the architect’s retreat—and an extension of his workplace as well.
The unit, bought during pre-selling when the owner (and in this case, the designer as well) was in his fourth or fifth year in college. It was bare, except for a kitchen sink and bathroom provision, and it was a suitable canvas for the architect to draw his ideal retreat-workplace. However, he shares that he made about six schemes before he arrived at the current composition of his modern minimalist condo.
Jorge designed his place by breaking it down into various zones. The first zone is where he will wash, cook, eat and drink, store utilities, entertain guests, and work. The second is where he will sleep or relax, watch TV, and store his clothes and other personal belongings. Storage is a priority, so that takes up the wall along the kitchen. As for his workspace, his dining table as well as extra food preparation station also acts as his desk.
To create a visual and physical separation between the two zones without obstructing the natural light from the only window his condo is delivered with, as well as the airflow and the natural flow of the space, Jorge created layers of slabs running from the ceiling to the walls, and from the ceiling down the middle of space.
These architectural details that also increase the functionality of the space is characterized by a swift vertical drop where the formed layers add visual interest to the minimalist space. Adding to this interesting play on composition are the walls along the dining and sleeping areas in light slate, a contrast to the predominantly smooth and white massing of the unit.
Equipped with all the necessities, the modern minimalist condo has been serving the architect-owner its purpose as a retreat and workplace on weekends he needs to finish his work. Although modest in size and almost naked at the time of our team’s visit, the unit is also built for entertaining–including comfortable accommodations for guests to sleep in. The dining table, connected to the bed’s “headboard,” itself is around two meters in length, which can seat six to eight people.
“Most of the time, ako lang dito. My parents also come once in a while and stay here with me,” shares the architect-owner. “The bed can only fit two, so I sleep on the floor. I wanted to have a pull out bed, but I’m fine cleaning up,” he adds chuckling.