FYI DESIGN STUDIO has just over six years under its belt, but its formidable set of talent is more than capable of handling unique projects of varying kinds and difficulties.
In the six years that passed, FYI DESIGN STUDIO has tackled diverse projects, engaging with clients of diverse backgrounds. This has ranged from providing architectural and planning solutions that range from small coffee shops to individual residences to large master planned developments such as housing subdivisions, parks, industrial estates, mixed-use business districts, reclamation areas, resorts, and amusement parks.
“By performing a ‘gemba walk,’ the studio management strengthens the channels of communication between themselves and their employees, allowing them to witness the day-to-day design evolutions without being caught in a rigid hierarchy and a bureaucratic structure."
The Lead Architect
Led by Ar. Carl Evan Saycon, EnP, CBP, MBA, his comprehensive educational background and over 20 years in the development processes of real estate products give him a tough portfolio to beat.
He has led design and planning projects for various developers and firms like Active Group of Companies, RIIBuilders, Ayala Land, Inc., ArchiGlobal Inc., and PrimaryHomes, Inc. Handling different commercial projects come with their own set of problems, this can be seen through FYI Design Studio’s approach to two notable projects.
Project I: Building One
A site’s surroundings dictate the form and shape of the project itself. Since this commercial building is within the vicinity of an old port, the firm created symbolic elements alluding to the historical context of the area’s long heritage of shipping tradition. For instance, spatial programming has been made to allow the maximum view of the site’s environs.
The building sits on a 2,400 sq. meter lot with a CFA of 3,500 sq. meters. Other features of the building include a solar roof, 2 passenger elevators, and semi-basement parking. The lowest floor is indented to make way for a covered walk around it while the next floor is cantilevered to provide the cover.
The midsection of the building is primarily ACP cladding and curtain glass wall, emulating the movement and dynamism of waves below the hull of a ship. The last two floors are clad with vertical tubular aluminum lattice, with corners pointing to other important historical sites surrounding the area.
The third floor has a spillover al fresco deck that wraps around the exposed sides of the building, allowing views and allowing direct appreciation of the adjacent historical places around the building, which are still visible at this level.
Programmatically, the site’s corner location was a double-edged sword. It was an opportunity to showcase two sides of the building but a challenge as well due to an ordinance that requires deep setbacks and a nose-in-nose-out format for parking.
Project II: Island Resort
For this Island Resort, various elements of the project design took time to mature. The details, architectural theme, and budget went through several rounds of value engineering and iterations to achieve the most optimum and cost-effective solution, such as sourcing locally available materials for structural members and finishing materials, prefabrication, and plan rationalization.
It was also necessary to discover what conventional technology can be employed by small-scale local contractors instead of using equipment-intensive construction methodologies.
With a total lot area comprising about 2 hectares with a CFA of 8,000 sq. meters, the project features a lot of rustic finishes, weathered furniture, and repurposed decorative fixtures. Some of these include woven rugs made from natural fibers, driftwood accessories, rattan ceiling panels, and accent walls made from coconut shells and bark.
The façade and roofscapes take inspiration from vernacular architecture, with many of the surface treatments as mostly unfinished concrete and artificial thatch. The studio finds the raw beauty of unfinished concrete to be fitting to the context of the carefree Bohemian lifestyle of the resort if accented by aged wood and Capiz windows.
Considering that the site is situated on a Pacific front, the building’s resilience is a top priority so that the structures will sustain strong typhoons, flooding, and storm surges relatively common to the vicinity of the area.
There are also existing coconut trees that must be preserved in the process and central to the resort’s branding, which requires the master plan to be organically planned around each tree and contour. Where needed, some villas were elevated on stilts in some areas closest to the coastal area.
All these things had to be considered to make the design resilient. Several cost-saving strategies were employed to conserve water and power usage during operations. Rainwater is also extensively captured, using several rainwater catchment tanks embedded at the lowest points in the area and distributed via dedicated pumps for landscape irrigation, fire protection, and as well as general property maintenance.
Lighting fixtures specified for all common areas such as outdoor pathways and corridors have photocell and motion sensors to improve security and reduce energy usage.
The studio does not aim to expand too much so that it loses its flat structure, iterative interaction, and innovative mindset. They prioritize quality of communications, depth of process, and design integrity over company size; that’s why they tend to choose their battles and have slowly focused on accepting commissions that resonate with their values.