Ed Calma Designs a Modern Masterpiece
Many aspire to someday build and live in their dream home. Always a symbol of hard work, it is an indication of moving up in the world and moving on with life. This, among other things, was what these Urdaneta Village residents had in mind when they approached architect-interior designer Ed Calma to help design and decorate their new home. “Our kids were growing up, and we needed more space,” shares the lady of the house. “We came to Ed because we like what he does—and we like him. That was one of the most important things I was taking into consideration before starting this project because everything comes easier when you are dealing with someone you work well with.”
The project took four and a half years to complete, as they had to tear down their old house (“A starter home that served us very well for 12 years,” says the gentleman of the house) to build the new one in its place. The site was a challenge to work with, but Calma masterfully dealt with it by creating separate structures in lieu of a singular building. From the exterior, this is not at all evident; the cleverness of the design is easier understood when seen from the inside. Calma’s intention? To be able to accommodate the pool and the garden as required by the homeowners, as well as to make the scale of things more comfortable. They’d had to flip over the original orientation of the design, too, at the suggestion of the Feng Shui consultant.
“Aside from positioning, one of the biggest challenges concerning the pool and the garden was having to build them over the basement,” says the architect. “Due to issues concerning plumbing, proper waterproofing was the number one priority. We allotted about a foot of space underneath to accommodate what was necessary for the soil and grass to grow properly. We also reinforced it with concrete to prevent the pool water from leaking into the basement.” Down below, too, is where one can find the garage guarding the man of the house’s impressive collection of luxury cars.
Being an Ed Calma home, the structure is modern—clean lines, glass walls, wood details—yet luxurious. “Modernism is tricky in the sense that it demands precision. It can be a struggle to ensure what you envision is exactly what is executed. Some people still think that modern equals cold and antiseptic, but that isn’t always the case. I wanted to infuse this home with a warmer more luxe feel, so we used materials such as onyx, travertine, and walnut veneers to soften the overall look,” Calma explains.
As soon as you enter through the front door of the main house, what greets you is a plush seating area and massive wall-to-floor windows that look out into the pool area—and perhaps a curious glance from their beloved pet dog, who roams about as it pleases. On the left side are a home office and guest room, as well as a stairwell and lift leading up to the upper floors; on the right side is the living, dining, and kitchen area. This layout satisfies the family’s requirement of open spaces and facilitates an easy flow from area to area. Says the gentleman of the house, “We lived in large houses when we were children, and there were some areas that weren’t fully in use. We didn’t want that to happen to our future home.” There is plenty of concealed storage space, as well, which is of utmost important to the lady of the house.
On the second floor of the main house, one can find the bedrooms and the family room, which the lady of house pertains to as her son’s domain as he often elects to use it to host friends. Replete with its own minibar and refrigerator—all cleverly concealed behind wooden drawers—there is little reason to leave. But when asked about their favourite area, it’s a clear consensus: the roof deck. Another of Calma’s clever additions, the multi-purpose area functions not just as a place to gather and entertain, but also an extension of the garden below. “One noteworthy thing about it is that it accords you a great view of the Makati city skyline, which you don’t see too often when you live in a village,” he adds.
The lady of the house concludes, “We kept only a handful of things from the old house—mostly just the art pieces we’ve collected and some valuable family heirlooms. We’re very practical. If there are things I no longer need, I am more than happy to offer them to others who can use them. I like the idea that we aren’t defined by what we have. What this house signifies is a new chapter in our lives.”
- Photography Wig Tysmans
- Photographer's Assistant Tonette Jacinto