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Interior Design Exhibit Breathes New Life into Historical Spaces

) Katrina Gadong |

Out with the old and in with the new? Why choose one without the other when you can have both? This 2018, the graduating batch of the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) shows that old, historic structures and new design ideas can blend well together through their exhibit entitled "JUXTAPOSE: Espasyo at Panahon."

This process is called adaptive reuse or repurposing old sites for a function other than what it was originally built for. For their 51st anniversary, PSID took on the challenge of giving relevance to forgotten historical buildings used for residential ("Tahanan"), commercial ("Pangkalakal"), and industrial ("Pang-industriya") purposes. Ancestral homes, former government and school buildings, as well as train and fire stations are reimagined into bars, cafes, specialty stores, wellness centers, among others.

The exhibit hopes to "challenge proponents of cultural heritage conservation, developers, and the audience to find creative solutions in the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures. It also seeks to impart a sense of heritage to Filipinos with a further understanding and appreciation of our cultural and historical identity."

Showcasing a total of 17 booths, the display boasts of Philippine ingenuity, not only from the well-conceptualized and well-executed design ideas of the PSID students, but also from the already-beautifully-made heritage sites hoped to be revitalized and which inspired their respective design ideas in the first place.

Our easy favorites

Photo via ArtPlus

Booth No. 1 or The Bar Beneath in San Juan, a speakeasy, remains true to the secrecy of the bomb shelter of the ancestral Castro House (Tahanan) in San Juan, from which it was inspired by. As it was in the time of war, sandbags were used to cover the bar's entrance, and were also translated into the space's ceiling. It is characterized by ambient lighting, earthy tones, and a touch of Filipino elements. Stealthily hiding in the area is a television set and a powder room, waiting to be discovered.

Photo via ArtPlus

Booth No. 7 or La Moneda Bookshop and Café takes its copper and metallic cues from the rich history of the Aduana Building (Pangkalakal) in Intramuros as the place where the first Philippine coins were made. It is comfy and cozy, a cafe-goer's dream! The booth's focal point is the unique artwork on the wall: the country's map made of five and ten centavo coins (which the interior designers mounted themselves!).

Photo via ArtPlus

Booth No. 16 or Polo Estacion envisions Valenzuela City's PNR Polo Station (Pang-industriya) as an artisan market and local wine shop which houses the region's local produce and goods. With a rustic-contemporary- meets-industrial design, the set-up gives an illusion of a railway through the floor style, lighted brick arches, and the mirrors on opposite sides. The genius idea promises endless possibilities, which is a great selling point for their proposed shop.

Juxtapose is located at the penthouse of Santolan Town Plaza in San Juan City and still runs until tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31, 2018. It is open from 10am to 8pm, and entrance is free of charge.