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How an Architect Transformed an Abandoned Construction Site Into a Stylish Two-Storey Home

Dubbed as Blessed Hill, the house was finished despite the pandemic, enabling architect Mary Ann Peralta to provide a source of income to a group of workers
How an Architect Transformed an Abandoned Construction Site Into a Stylish Two-Storey Home
IMAGE Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta
Dubbed as Blessed Hill, the house was finished despite the pandemic, enabling architect Mary Ann Peralta to provide a source of income to a group of workers

When we rang in 2020, we had no idea how challenging the year would be. Architect Mary Ann Peralta started working on this project in January 2020 and was only able to schedule a final turnover in November of the same year. “It has become an inside joke within the team how we survived a volcanic eruption, the earthquakes, storms, and even the pandemic,” she shares. Understanding the need of the workers to provide for their families, Mary Ann chose to proceed with the construction in July after securing the necessary permits and completing the rapid tests of the workers. “We developed standard operating procedures and limited the number of workers on site,” the architect adds.

The finished townhome, which they now refer to as Blessed Hill, has a striking story to say the least. Not only did it go through a diligent and inspired construction process, it also used to be a desolate construction site. According to Mary Ann, the current owner saw the potential of the place and decided to acquire the property regardless of its state. The space had unfinished walls, the stairs cannot be located, and it seemed hopeless. Understanding the structural concerns that need to be addressed and having a clear vision of what her client wants, Mary Ann successfully transformed the site into an inviting space that seems to welcome you with a warm embrace. Meant to accommodate big groups and missionaries who long to take some time off, the home has snug shared spaces, comfy bedrooms, and even a pocket garden that adds a calming touch to the final look. After looking through the photos, you’ll definitely get a sense of how blessed the project is.

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Take a virtual tour of Blessed Hill below:

Construction Phase

PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

To say that the construction site was in a sad state would be an understatement. A lot of work had to be done to be able to turn it into a home.


Blessed Hill is a two-storey residence with a gross floor area of 88sqm. It has three bedrooms, a powder room on the first floor, and two bathrooms. 12 people can stay comfortably in the home.

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Design Phase

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

Mary Ann decided to work with an industrial-meets-oriental theme in mind â taking into consideration the clientâs request and personal style. She decided to remove walls on the first floor to create an open layout then complemented it with exposed ceilings to add height to the space.

Living Area

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

We’re loving the tropical vibe of the dining space! The solid wood slab dining table, which is paired with matching chairs, is the star of the area. To make the space look bigger, Mary Ann added an arc mirror which also works as an accent piece.

“The walls are not concrete, but are actually made of plywood cladding with acrylic skimcoat finish. Working with wall classing enabled us to separate the different areas while concealing the awkward placement of the existing columns,” the architect explains.

Pocket Garden

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

The living area serves as the first floor's focal point, with its blue accent wall and black iron pipe shelf that immediately catch oneâs attention. The architect created a visual illusion on the first floor by opting for an open ceiling layout. "Some areas show exposed electrical piping that add to the industrial effect and there are suspended fabricated wooden cable trays for the pin lights," she explains.

A dropped ceiling can also be noted on the first floor which was strategically placed to conceal the plumbing of the bathroom on the second floor.

Dining Area

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

Every corner of the home can be functional as seen in how Mary Ann incorporated a pocket garden by the stairs. This tranquil spot not only brings the outdoors into the home, it also balances out the industrial touches seen around the home keeping it lively and welcoming.

Kitchen

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

To make the most of the compact space, Mary Ann followed the kitchen work triangle in designing the cooking area. The cabinets are made from marine plywood and paired with a natural granite countertop. To make the area more interesting, she incorporated cement tiles into the backsplash.

Stairs

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

Following the original layout of the house, the flight of stairs features a three-bend layout topped with Banaba hardwood. From the top of the stairs, one can easily admire the height of the space â thanks to the lovely oriental-inspired droplights. A display ledge was added to showcase some of the ownerâs favorite things.

Second Floor Living Area / Family Area

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

Mirroring the look of the living area on the first floor, the family area also has an accent wall to achieve consistency. "It gives a sense of continuity from the first floor to the second floor," says Mary Ann.

Common Bathroom

PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta
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The architect expertly married the industrial and oriental touches through decor pieces, lighting, and bathroom accessories. In the common T&B, an oriental-themed wash basin is paired with an antique-looking faucet thatâs mounted on a jet-black granite countertop. "Since the second floor was empty when we started the project, we were able to improve the layout by making it appear bigger. The play on the lines added to the visual impact of the space," Mary Ann explains.

First Bedroom

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

The room features a hardwood double-deck with a pull-out bed made from Gmelina wood. "In this room, we decided to incorporate awning windows to maximize airflow," the architect shares.

Second Bedroom

PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

Reminiscent of vacation homes, this sleeping space is furnished with a hardwood double-sized bed with a single pull-out made from the mix of Yakal and Mango Tree wood. Buying from shops along the Sta.Rosa-Tagaytay road enabled Mary Ann to support small and local shops, while making a better investment since solid wood is timeless.

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Master Bedroom

PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

This private space has the best view of the hill where the house stands, giving the occupant a magnificent view of the sunset. Mary Ann changed the elevation of the ceiling to achieve an illusion of height.

Master Bathroom

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PHOTO BY Architect Architect Mary Ann Peralta

The master bedroom has its own T&B which features another unique wash basin. To add personality to the space, Mary Ann worked with stone ceramic tiles, ambient lighting, an art piece, and a lovely mirror. âWhen dealing with wet areas, itâs always best to use doors that have natural exhaust features like louvers to avoid humidity which may cause molds,â she advises.

*This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

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