Palacio de Memoria: Art and History Entwined
In the bustling city of Paranaque, a quiet mansion sits housing a multitude of elegant art pieces backed with history and class. The Palacio de Memoria opened its doors last March 2019, after the renovation of the spearheaded by sisters Camille Lhuillier and Angelique Lhuillier was completed.
The pre-war house they restored features two entrance gates, one of which is along Roxas Boulevard which happens to catch a beautiful view of the sunset. As guests walk over to the door of the mansion, they will already see planes parked along the lush green field.
Upon entry through the glass double doors, the lobby features terrazzo floors that paint the familiar countryside image of a man and a woman dancing the tinikling, surrounded by a nipa hut, palm fronds, flowers in full bloom, and other tropical patterns.
An air of mystery shrouds the mansion, as even the sisters are unsure of its background. “We're actually asking for any information from the public right now,” Lhuillier says about the house that was acquired by her family 15 years ago. While the archiving of the mansion’s history is still in the works, the Lhuilliers are busy filling it up with equally memorable furniture pieces that now make up Palacio de Memoria.
The first floor has several of the mansion’s main rooms: the Grey Room, the Red Room, and the Dining Room. The Grey room takes on a more Parisian-inspired interior, whilst the Red Room is more Venetian-inspired. These rooms were designed and curated by Palacio’s Art Director Miguel Rosales.
The pieces found in the Palacio are also semi-permanent, so if guests have an interest in an item, they may discuss and negotiate with the Palacio.
In an interview with Philippine Primer and Camille Lhuillier, she shared, “I think if you speak heritage home in the Philippines, this is the only one you’ll find that looks like this. It’s more Spanish revival and it’s very different and it probably looks like what the homes used to look like before the war.”
Casa de Memoria is also housed in the Palacio. This is a Lhullier-managed auction house that specializes in antiques and heirlooms that have been passed down through generations. The pieces also stay in the casa temporarily, auctioning it off to a new home with the hope of growing the longevity and increasing the intrinsic value of the pieces to the owners.
"Our pieces here, these are all for sale. It's a way for people to see our pieces. For Casa, it's been a little bit hard to see how things would look. Here, you can really see how pieces have space to breathe," Lhuillier explains.
The Casa makes sure to take care of all the pieces that go through their care, and they make sure the new owner of the pieces they auction out are aware of the pieces’ artistic and historical value.
The Casa is also very passionate about art and education. They have dedicated part of the sales of all their auctions to a foundation or charity that benefit children who do not have the opportunity to experience the arts.
The mansion has seven floors, but a lot of it is still under construction. Lhuillier shared that they planning to open it in parts. "We want to make it an art destination," she enthuses. An art gallery, a restaurant, and a bar are all in the works.
The siblings are determined to continue developing Palacio de Memoria and the art it holds. Lhuillier shared, “My sister, Angie (Lhuillier) and I are committed to telling a story of a great Filipino past. The Palacio harkens to a time in our history where Manila and the Philippines was the true Pearl of the Orient. This home and its grounds will provide collectors and lovers of history a vignette of an era gone by.”
For more information, the catalog will be available online at www.casadememoria.com, and on Instagram @casadememoria. For inquiries please call 772-0414 or send an email at email@example.com.
- Address: 95 Bayview Drive, Los Tamaraos Village, Brgy. Tambo, Parañaque City
- Contact Nos.: 02-253-3994 / 0917-822-6544
- Operating Hours: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday)
*Image retrieved from manilastandard.net