Modern Brut: SP Residence by PARA Arkitektura

Hard-edged brutalism meets the warmth of mid-century modernism in this 550-square-meter home in Laguna by PARA Arkitektura

Words PARA Arkitektura
Editing The Kanto team
Images Greg Mayo

PARA Arkitektura

The clients, an entrepreneurial couple, approached us with a vision of a home that expressed their shared appreciation for brutalist architecture and mid-century interiors – a design mix one would not come across very often. It was a compelling assignment that meant creating a house that involved marrying the opposing qualities of two seemingly contrasting styles. But beyond this aesthetic quality, the house had to be a space that fosters flourishing and compassion for the young family and their furry friends.

The 550-square-meter house’s façade reflects the bold, imposing character of brutalism. Its monolithic appearance and monochromatic palette add to the mystery and allure of the structure. The straightforward and simple geometries of the house volume are softened with our usage of wood panels for the carport roof, a diaphanous weave-inspired screen for the front-facing windows of the second floor, and breeze block walls to demarcate portions of the 660-square-meter property.

Contrasting the hard-edged exteriors, we aimed to create light and airy interiors by framing views and establishing a connection between the interior and exterior spaces through copious openings. Our design included the incorporation of courtyards and gardens to allow natural sunlight and ventilation in the interiors, achieving a balance between the expected weight and massiveness of a brutalist approach.

Beyond the aesthetic considerations, the house also champions a noble cause by integrating open spaces dedicated to the well-being of rescued dogs. We included a capacious backyard to serve as a haven for the canine members of the family, surrounded by lush greens within sight of the living area.

The living area

The house’s interior spaces emanate warmth and welcome through earth tones and the timeless appeal of mid-century furniture-styled pieces. This creates a relaxing environment that complements the family’s penchant for gathering and entertaining. The furniture choices are characterized by clean lines, organic shapes, and a seamless integration of form and function. Several of the family’s vintage collectibles also animate the space, breathing color and life amidst the monochromatic architectural canvas.

Backyard space

A highlight of the project is the spiral stairs located in the middle of the living area. A sinuous counterpoint to all the hard-edged, orthogonal elements that constitute the home, the spiral staircase is the house’s symbolic heart. It is the primary means of vertical circulation between the public-facing and more private spaces on the second floor. Its gravity-defying form and curvaceous shape imbue the interiors with motion and fluidity and emphasize the double-height living space.

Beyond its brutalist-inspired shell and midcentury-modern trappings, the home is primarily a relaxing space where the family can find comfort in the company of loved ones. It is a conducive space where the architecture stands back as the backdrop to treasured moments, a testament to the possibility of blending strength with compassion.

Project Information

Location: Calamba, Laguna
Lot area: 660 sqm
Gross floor area: 550 sqm
Project completion: April 2023
Total project cost: PHP 35,000,000

Project Team

Design and Build by PARA Arkitektura

Design Team:
Ar. Joanne Christine P. Ramos
Jr. Ar. Lyza Klarenz T. Osayta
Engr. Junjun Gumafelix
Engr. Renato Marquez

Construction team:
Ar. Ernest D. Ramos
Jr. Ar. Nick Florence A. Tagata
Ryan Tagudin


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