Courtyard house in Dasmariñas Village, Manila, The Philippines

Eugene & Margarita Lorenzana house

Construction of a house set around a courtyard (atrium), the heritage of our Roman past, forming the central axis of the property. There is a water basin with plants in the centre of the courtyard to create evaporative currents which help to regulate the property's thermal comfort. This is a fresh and bright area, and the calm and contemplative centre of interior movement in the property.

The property's geometry on the ground is square, with porches on its south-facing rear façade to offer protection from the sun. The local tradition incorporates eaves to protect from the rain in the entrances to the property and, as requested by the owners, a portico has been added in the main entrance to the property.   

In the cross-section, the layout of the first floor has different levels, which move up around the staircase and the hall,which wraps around the central courtyard, and which are linked by a steadily sloping ramp. 

The outer perimeter of the upper floor is open all around, improving climate control within the property.

The construction system is made up of load-bearing walls, through a series of partition walls which appear and create the different spaces. The house is built with native materials: local stone and timber, and incorporates latticework from the Filipino building tradition.

  • year 2015
  • location Makati, Manila (The Philippines)
  • photographer Paolo Feliciano
  • contributors A. Llonch (arq.)