Reimagining old spaces

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AN ancestral home converted into a spa, the Regina Building as a café, a fire station transformed as a gym and fitness center — these are only a few ideas of the graduating students of Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID).

On its 51st anniversary, PSID mounted this year’s graduation exhibit titled, “Juxtapose: Espasyo at Panahon (Space and Time),” featuring 17 interior designs of adaptive reuse solutions by PSID batch 2018.

PSID batch adviser Nicanor Jardenil said this year’s exhibit theme merges interior design ideas of the present with the past.

“(Adaptive reuse is) the process where you try to make use of old historical places or spaces and try to come up with a new function for that space. It does not have to be the same. Otherwise, if you have the same function, it’s just like restoring the structure,” Mr. Jardenil told BusinessWorld during the exhibit opening.




The annual exhibit is an opportunity for PSID students to practice their chosen field.

“It’s their baptism of fire in the field of interior design. They get to have a hands-on experience if they get to implement their designs,” Mr. Jardenil said, adding students had to deal with sample clients and official contractors and suppliers.

The exhibit is divided into three galleries — Tahanan (Home), Pangkalakal (Trade), and Pang-industriya (Industry). Students were given the opportunity to choose which historical site to redesign.

In the Tahanan gallery, booth 1 was called “The Bar Beneath…in San Juan.” Students converted a 15-square meter bomb shelter under the kitchen floor of the 1933 Castro House in San Juan into a speakeasy bar. The bar’s interiors featured amber lights, panels made from capiz and wood chips supporting a liquor display, and smokey accent mirrors.

In the Pangkalakal gallery, booth 7’s “La Moneda Bookshop & Café” envisioned the Aduana Building as a bookshop and cafe. Retaining its neoclassical design, students chose Philippine coins as its theme to pay tribute to the building’s history as the Mint during the late 19th century.

In the Pang-industriya gallery, booth 16’s Polo Estacion reimagined the old Philippine National Railways Polo station as an artisan market and local wine shop. The brick walls and arched windows were retained and combined with a patterned capiz wall and bronze mirror to project the illusion of space.

Mr. Jarnenil said economic and societal value is considered when choosing a site for adaptive reuse. He said societal value pertains to “its significance in the community,” while economic value is the sustainability achieved through the new function.

“We will get there, if we have just the will and start helping in one way or another,” he said.

“Juxtapose: Espasyo at Panahon (Space and Time)” is located at the 11F Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Ave, San Juan city. The exhibit is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 31. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman