Zubu Design Associates - Bent House, a beach retreat fostering a sense of togetherness
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Bent House, a beach retreat fostering a sense of togetherness

Zubu Design Associates

Villa  /  Future
Zubu Design Associates

The villa was envisioned as a beach retreat for the client, providing not only a personal haven but also ample space to entertain friends. To achieve this, a unique concept emerged - an in-between space that seamlessly connects the main suite and the guest rooms. This vibrant space takes the form of a covered outdoor communal area, serving as the welcoming entry portal to the house and the beach. It breathes life into the design, fostering a sense of togetherness while embracing the coastal surroundings.

The villa is situated on a 3000 square meter property along the beach, featuring an existing 3-meter high seawall. Considering the vulnerability of the location to strong typhoons and storm surges, the design incorporates measures to address this threat. The concept of bending the villa upwards emerged as a solution, aiming to provide a safe environment for the occupants while maintaining a close connection to the site. This design approach ensures both user safety and seamless integration with the surrounding environment.

Through careful analysis of flood and storm surge data, it was determined that the site would experience a surge of approximately 5 meters in height during a typhoon event, occurring approximately once every 50 years. With this information, it was concluded that mitigating the entire structure for a five-meter surge was unnecessary. Instead, a strategic approach was taken to cascade the height at the main suite, ensuring that the primary bedroom would be protected in such an event. This decision presented an opportunity to manipulate the form and enhance the overall villa experience. Additionally, the entire structure was constructed with a reinforced concrete roof slab to ensure its resilience against the strong forces of storm surges and typhoons.

The bent house is a composition that needed to incorporate proper safety mitigation considering the site's influencing factors. It was crucial for our design to address this aspect in an expressive manner. By increasing and tiering the levels on the ground plane of the main suite, a bending effect was created, influencing the entire space. We further developed and accentuated this bending effect in the plan. Additionally, we intended to define the character of the space using solid volumes at the road elevation to enhance privacy, while incorporating glass panels that open towards the beach, maximizing the scenic views and enjoyment of the sea. The inclusion of a communal void separating the main suite and guest suites was a significant design feature. Our aim was to frame the natural view of the sea and beach with well-crafted architecture. Furthermore, the architecture takes the form of a simple box that bends in two directions. Our goal was to deliver a unique design experience while prioritizing the safety of the residents, taking into careful consideration the possibility of a storm surge.

The client initially envisioned separate villas for the main suite and guest suites. However, they were pleasantly surprised by the design approach presented to them. They appreciated how the design addressed the threat of the storm surge and admired how the communal area unified the structure. They are eagerly looking forward to bringing the project to life and seeing it become a reality.


 523 mq
 Buck Richnold I. Sia and Justine M. Eduave
 Justine M. Eduave, Ralph Anthony S. Catugas, Roel O. Perales, Joseph Edison P. Compra
 Structural: Wallace D. Lestano, Plumbing: Leonides M. Paragsa, Electrical: Ferdinand L. Rubia, Mechanical: Leonides M. Paragsa, Electronics: Victor C. Navarro
 Zubu Design Associates


Founded in 2010 by principal architect Buck Richnold Sia, Zubu Design Associates is a Cebu based progressive architecture and design studio. Zubu values the evolution of architecture, generating progressive and innovative design solutions while respecting lineage of history either by evolving or challenging what has been done before.

Buck Sia revolves his work around progress and innovation. By leading numerous companies notably Zubu Design Associates and Intranet Trade International Inc, his core beliefs of being data driven, highly initiative and strong collaboration are inculcated within his organizations. He recently completed his executive education on Digital Business Leadership at Columbia University; His projects have been shortlisted and featured on numerous awards and publications both in the Philippines and abroad. He also led as President for the Cebu Creative Council and the UAP-Sugbu Chapter.


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