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Bahay na bato—a Filipino classic meets modernization

Lei Adrienne Segovia—Homify Lei Adrienne Segovia—Homify

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Bahay na bato or the stone house served as the model for townhouses from the 19th century until World War II for many Filipino families, especially the mid-elite. The bahay na bato's original Spanish architectural design was repurposed to suit the Philippine climate using original building materials, in particular construction ideas from the bahay kubo. Today, more and more talented architects are exploring new designs, style genres, fusions, and color palettes that will cater to the eyes of the modern Filipino family while still capturing the concept of the stone house. Here's four modest bahay na bato architecture layouts that embodies certain features of the traditional stone house.

Bahay na bato features

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Bahay na bato is known for its Spanish-Filipino domestic architecture, with an unprecedented mixing and matching of architectural styles, such that a bahay na bato can have neo-gothic and neo-Moorish details in the same corners. Looking at bahay na bato floor layouts, it is evident that the most distinguishing features of the bahay na bato are portico, porte cochere, volada, load-bearing walls, pilasters, engaged column, stained-glass windows, capiz sliding ventanas, and ventanillas.

Pictured above is a three-story family home that slightly depicts Spanish influences through its design and use of materials. Concrete columns and the multiple windows are the most influences in this layout. With a touch of modernization, this family home adds a depth of character through the colored, bricked walls.

Stained glass windows

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HOUSE EXTERIOR & FACADE

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A clerestory is any high window above eye level for the purpose of bringing outside light, fresh air, or both into the inner space. Stain it glass and viola, a distinct feature of a bahay na bato architecture. Stone houses or bahay na bato are known for its wide glass windows. This is to make use of the natural ventilation and natural light from the outdoors.

This house layout highlights its classy windows with the use of indoor ambient lighting too. It creates a more sophisticated feel to the modern version of a bahay na bato. The clean lines and angles also feature Spanish influences fused with the modern style. 

Fusion of styles

Moorish? Baroque? Westernized? Mid-asian? All of these style genres can all describe one Filipino architecture -- the bahay na bato. Yes, it's true. The bahay na bato is influenced by a lot of styles, probably because of the various races that have colonized the country. These quaint mixes give the bahay na bato an architectural style that evolved from both East and West, ironically making it truly Filipino. 

Shown above, the family townhouse boasts its high-class facade and exterior details. It surely highlights the Western influences of the bahay na bato. Of course, what's a bahay na bato without its sturdy building materials? Otherwise, it wouldn't be called such name. This house design makes use of its concrete, stone, and stucco details to bring the utmost sturdiness and durability to the layout. Here's an ideabook featuring a sturdy concrete home -- check it out here.

Distinctive Moorish features

As noticeable as it is, bahay na bato architecture is also well-known for its Moorish influences. It's a type of style that is derived from Islamic architecture, thus seen on the curvature of most features of the bahay na bato. Pictured in the house layout, the property is designed with Moorish architecture. To add a touch of modern twist to it, the palette is splashed with a pastel colors that truly makes it trendy and up-to-date. Who would ever thought a classic Mooring architecture could be fused with a quirky and dainty palette? 

Bahay na bato architecture may have fallen from the past decades, but more architects are now once appreciating the wondrous features of this traditional Filipino house design. 

Another indigenous Filipino house is also needed to be modernized and be used again by families all over the country. Check this ideabook about the traditional bahay kubo. Click here!

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