Zubu Design Associates - Cliff House, capturing the horizon towards the sea
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Cliff House, capturing the horizon towards the sea

Zubu Design Associates

Villa  /  Completed
Zubu Design Associates

The design of the project is driven by the site's natural characteristics. The 10,000 square meter site gently slopes towards the cliff, offering panoramic views of the bay and sea. The villas were carefully positioned to align with the horizon, creating a harmonious relationship with the surroundings. With a modernist design approach, the villas stand out while maintaining a restrained presence. They are dispersed throughout the site, including the main house, pool house, guest house, and supporting spaces. The glass houses provide visibility from the outside and blend seamlessly with the scenery from the inside. Each villa's placement and level were thoughtfully considered, taking into account the views, gardens, and horizon to establish a strong connection with the environment.

Upon entering the site, one is greeted by a bend in the public road, deliberately designed to create a sense of seclusion and privacy for the client. The rolling slope of the site is composed of coral stone, skillfully integrated into the design to preserve and enhance its natural beauty. This unique feature adds character to the surroundings. Each villa on the site offers captivating views of the landscape, with the main villa serving as a prominent focal point that sets the tone for the entire development. Additionally, the pool villa is strategically positioned to align with the pathway and main vehicular access of the main villa and guest villa. The guest villa, situated in the eastern portion of the site, deliberately looks away from the main villa to ensure privacy.

Respect for the natural setting and embracing them was a key factor in the design of the Cliff House villas. Respecting and embracing the natural setting was crucial in the design process, particularly considering the tropical climate. The houses were thoughtfully designed to ensure effective ventilation and ample natural lighting. A straightforward approach was employed to facilitate the flow of breezes and optimize natural light at different times of the day. Additionally, all the villas were meticulously planned to create multiple spaces that cater to both individual contemplation and communal gatherings.

The cliff house is a place for the client to slow down. The process of choosing the site and location of the villas was a dialogue between the client and the architect, focused on identifying the perfect position to capture the horizon towards the sea. It was also the intention of the client to have multiple locations for places to contemplate or gather friends, either inside the main villa or along an outdoor deck, the gardens or the pool. The villas, embracing a modernist approach, became a blank canvas to enjoy the changing scenery and atmosphere of what nature beholds. The main villa’s design intent was to create the primary bedroom space perching on the east, jutting out to enjoy the whole view of the bay as the highest point while overlooking the open plan of the living spaces.

The client shared a striking thought considering his brother was an architect in New York. Unintentionally, his house reminds him of his brother's weekend home in upstate New York. The client revealed that the house serves as a blank canvas, allowing him to witness the ever-changing clouds, scenery, and shades of the sea, almost rendering the house invisible. Despite initial hesitation about living in a modern glass box, the client trusted the design process, maintaining constant communication.


 450 mq
 Buck Richnold I. Sia and John Raymund B. Jayme
 Miguel Jorge R. Rocha, Arvin John R. Carandang, Jadon Jeremia C. Bernedo, Fretz Suralta, Anne Eliza Joice A. Cristobal
 Alpine Trade & Consruction
 Structural: Wallace D. Lestano, Plumbing: Leonides M. Paragsa, Electrical: Ferdinand L. Rubia, Mechanical: Leonides M. Paragsa, Electronics: Victor C. Navarro
 APE Grupo, Duravit, Cristina, Kenneth and Mock
 Edward Simon


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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