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Milo Naval designs own home as modern ‘bahay na bato’

In typhoon province Sorsogon, the leading Filipino contemporary designer’s latest masterpiece takes climate change into account

Milo Naval

Milo Naval

Milo Naval

Noted interior and furniture designer Milo Naval is walking the talk. One of the Filipino artists with a following here and abroad for his modern but tropical minimalism, Naval has designed his own home in Sorsogon as a modern bahay na bato, a sturdy, solid structure in this typhoon-prone region.

Milo Naval

Naval designed and built Siama Hotel, now a favorite tourist destination in Sorsogon, and Siama Surf, the resort hotel on the beautiful coastline of Gubat in Sorsogon. Naval’s designs are acclaimed for their use of indigenous materials such as rattan, bamboo, in sleek lines, streamlined structures and highly refined finish and craftsmanship. His designs astutely combine functionality with aesthetics.

Now his home in Sorsogon bears the aesthetic and design significance that Milo Naval has become known for.

The bahay na bato (house of stone) refers to the Filipino home that was built of stone during the Spanish colonial era, bearing the airy features of the indigenous bahay kubo (nipa hut). Naval’s modern bahay na bato is not a literal adaptation of that architecture, but it keeps its key sturdy features, including the cross ventilation.

 Naval tells “It emanates from what I think is a new definition of what a tropical design  should be when we talk of climate change.

“After staying in the typhoon-path province for more than 10 years now, I thought of creating a house for me and my family that would give a sense of security from the typhoons that yearly cross the province.”

Naval’s modern bahay na bato has a flat roof, deep-set windows with casing to serve as protection from the rain. “The plain walls have less windows facing the habagat (where rain and wind come from during typhoons). But even with all these considerations due to climate change, the house still maintains an expansive amount of windows where needed.”

A crucial design feature, inspired by the traditional bahay na bato,  is the cross ventilation all over the house.Milo NavalMilo Naval

The interior is Pinoy-inspired, using natural woven materials for carpets, capiz for lighting, native handwoven upholstery fabrics.What is interesting is that even if the design is rooted in the traditional, the house gives off a highly contemporary chic vibe. In other words, it is so Milo Naval.

Milo Naval Milo Naval

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