Design superstar Philippe Starck’s Filipino-inspired designs

By Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

This Starck-designed chair has a Philippine monkey-eating eagle sculpture for a headrest.

For a design giant to notice the Philippines must be a dream come true, something a Filipino real estate developer just turned into a reality.
French genius Philippe Starck, considered as the world’s most influential designer, heavily incorporates Filipino accents and elements into his first and, so far, only venture in the Philippines, Acqua Iguazu, the fifth tower of Acqua Residences by top Filipino realty firm Century Properties.
“I am so very proud to present the first yoo inspired by Starck building in your beautiful country and I am so delighted to be a part of this very exciting project. Those of you who have experienced our designs before are in for another surprising, inspiring and delightful journey,” Starck says in a statement.
“We want to give our fellowmen the chance to have Starck’s design philosophy every day and not only as transient hotel guests,” enthuses Robbie Antonio, Century Properties managing director and head for International Collaborations.

A chandelier with anative Filipino wicker body, resembling the walis ting-ting (stick broom) Filipinos use as a metaphor for unity.
The partnership began, says Marco Antonio, Century Properties co-chief operating officer and managing director, when Century met international property entrepreneur and Starck’s business partner, John Hitchcox, in Boracay.
Acqua Iguazu is the first residential Eden in their portfolio, Hitchcox said in a press conference. Starck and Hitchcox’s company, yoo, has been working with international developers for residential, hotel and commercial projects throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, North and South Americas and the Middle East. They have designed over 10,000 homes in 31 cities. Hitchcox claims to be among the pioneers in developing rundown London Soho apartments in the early ’90s.

“Today’s homes are different than what we had then because our lives now are different, so we need designers,” he espoused. “A home is a place of stability and confidence so it really needs our attention.” 

A home, for Starck, is “your own egg, where you will be very at peace to be a part of nature.”

Such is his vision for his designs for Iguazu’s lobby, walkways, elevators, rooftops, multifunctional bar, pool, library and movie rooms. Robbie says the designs will combine whimsical European flair with indigenous details such as native Filipino wicker chandeliers and an accent chair with a monkey-eating eagle sculpture as headrest. All colors will be natural, clean, pure and white, faithful to the Starck trademark.

An accent wicker dining table chair reminiscent of where Filipina beauty queens used to seat to receive their crown.
The P1.3-billion, 50-story development will have about 400 units crowned by the multi-level amenity deck, “Cielo,” chock-full of Starck’s design. The Cielo will have a gushing waterfall with a swimming pool, a bar, a DJ booth and dance floor, function room, an indoor and outdoor library, a movie room and dining area. The roof will have a cut out of a quote from the Little Prince written in Starck’s own handwriting.
For the units, three interior design inspirations following the themes of Minimal, Nature and Culture were opened at the showroom. These will serve as reference motifs for homeowners who wish to decorate their units in true Starck style.

“The lobby will have so many magic, all things to remind you that everything is possible,” Starck assures.
From everyday products like furniture and lemon squeezers, to revolutionary mega yachts, hotels that stimulate the senses, phantasmagorical venues and individual wind turbines, Starck never stops to push the limits and criteria of contemporary design.

Nito placemats

Starck infused indigenous materials like dark wood into his designs…

As well as local woodcarving, as in the frame of this bed:

Blocks of locally salvaged wood as sidetables

Starck (center) with Century Properties’ Robbie and Marco Antonio

Published in The Daily Tribune. Official link to the complete article:
http://www.tribune.net.ph/life-style/item/9733-starck-the-year-right


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