Unboxed GreCa redefining excellence in design



PROJECT NAME: CUYONON VILLAGE

TYPOLOGY: HORIZONTAL RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

PROJECT LOCATION: EL NIDO, PALAWAN

DESCRIPTION: Named after the indigenous people of the island of Palawan, Cuyonon Village is an 11-hectare residential and hotel development that features 80 luxury villas. Intended to be a home away from home, it offers its residents a way to be part of the hotel and earn while having a second home in the world’s most beautiful island.


Ar. Gregory Ng and Ar. John Carlo Ocampo seems to have met each other at the right place and the right time. The duo first found synergy back in college while taking BS Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas where they often worked together. After graduating, they worked as interns for the same company where they each found their own core strengths, eventually gaining more and more responsibilities that taught them not only about architecture but what to expect in running a studio. After five (5) years growing with the company which started from around 15 people to almost a hundred, they decided to chase their own path and start their own practice.


Channeling their creativity in architecture, they began their own architectural practice called GreCa in 2016.


GreCa, The Studio

• The studio was established in 2017.

• Their design solutions cater to a broad range of sectors; including private residence, corporate, government, hospitality, education, recreation and master planning, and brand building.

• GreCa won the design competition for the Isuzu Philippines Corporations new dealership design which will be implemented nationwide for new and existing dealerships.


Design Philosophy

GreCa Architects stands by the belief that creating architecture is not just building spaces but the creation of spaces that interact with each other and their users. The studio prides itself in taking the time to do intensive research for each and every project. For GreCa, architecture and design impact brand building significantly and so the studio does its best to design spaces that connect with people’s emotions. The duo strive to make that good first and lasting impression, keeping in mind how users would interact with everything that surrounds them.


We all know that lots of the new breed of architects have been facing a crisis these days: stick to age-old traditions in the industry and find their niche or open themselves up to all kinds of opportunities to build experience. GreCa falls outside these categories. They are neither traditional nor revolutionary. They’re neither choosy nor greedy. They’re somewhere in between, getting out of the box people have created for newcomers in the architecture industry; but instead of just navigating outside it, they formed their own box and decided to thrive there. Acknowledging that they live in very interesting times, GreCa sets their own standard and debunks the following traditional claims about their industry:


1. Experience = Excellence

Having a desire to create something extraordinary, Architects Greg and JC stand by their studio’s core belief that architecture is not just about building spaces, it is also about exploring the nuanced ways of defining and redefining it. For them, core skills equate to excellence; not just experience. Starting only last 2017, they’ve already handled various architecture projects and catered to a broad range of sectors - residential, education, recreation and master planning, and brand building. GreCa is flexible and their exposure to various design styles through various projects works for them well.



PROJECT NAME: 308 IBAÑEZ RESIDENCES

TYPOLOGY: VERTICAL RESIDENTIAL

DESCRIPTION: A multi-story high-end residential development, 308 Ibañez will feature luxury living in a low density apartment complex.



PROJECT NAME: 308 IBAÑEZ RESIDENCES

TYPOLOGY: VERTICAL RESIDENTIAL

DESCRIPTION: A multi-story high-end residential development, 308 Ibañez will feature luxury living in a low density apartment complex.


“We don’t want to stick to one design style or look. We focus more on what the client needs and give our 100% best to deliver that.”


PROJECT NAME: THE ACADEMIC BUILDING

TYPOLOGY: INSTITUTIONAL

PROJECT LOCATION: QUEZON CITY


2. Micromanaging makes you big

Principal architects have the duty of gathering all the information and ideas necessary to create a functional space that meets client needs while being code compliant. With this in mind, their role is important in every stage of a project. For big studios or firms, a project manager is usually assigned to oversee every stage of the project and reports directly to the principal architect. In this traditional set up, communications between the client and main architect seem to be limited since there’s a third party involved. GreCa puts premium on communications, knowing when to be involved and when to entrust something to their trained staff. While they have managers assigned to oversee a specific project, Architects Greg and JC make sure that they visit the actual site regularly and make themselves easily accessible to their clients and staff from planning to construction stages. “We make sure that we’re there in every step of the project. We make our presence felt to assure our clients that while we have project heads, we’re still on top of things,” Architect Jc quips.



The façade of the Batangas City Sports Center roots from the province’s past of being a vast woodland. It features exterior design elements that represent trees, a way of showing homage to the history of the place.



PROJECT NAME: BATAGAS CITY SPORTS CENTER

TYPOLOGY: INSTITUTIONAL

LOCATION: BATANGAS CITY


The winning entry in Isuzu Philippines’ design competition, this new showroom design represents the core values of the company and mirrors their vehicles durability and reliability. Aside from the new look of the façade, the arrangement of interior spaces are also redesigned by considering research from the company’s different departments to be able to provide a better flow for their customers.


PROJECT NAME: ISUZU PHILIPPINES DEALERSHIP

TYPOLOGY: COMMERCIAL

LOCATION: NATIONWIDE




PROJECT NAME: 12 HOUSE

TYPOLOGY: RESIDENTIAL INTERIORS

PROJECT LOCATION: SAN JUAN CITY

DESCRIPTION: A spacious home encompassing one whole floor, the light interior of 12 House is designed to make the space feel even bigger than it is.


“We make sure that we’re there in every step of the project. We make our presence felt to assure our clients that while we have project heads, we’re still on top of things,”


An open plan workspace with access to natural light and filled with real plants create a better working atmosphere in the office.


The CEO’s office is designed to be simple and efficient.


PROJECT NAME: QPAX OFFICE

TYPOLOGY: OFFICE INTERIORS

PROJECT LOCATION: MAKATI CITY

DESCRIPTION: The well-being of its users are taken into consideration in the design of the pantry of QPax. An open plan layout with various kinds of seating creates a more casual feel than a typical break area. The pantry also doubles as a lounge for guests and a huddle area for small meetings.


Moreover, Architect Greg adds that they take clients on a “truly unique design journey”

as they transform the client’s needs to a design concept that conveys a clear project vision

that matches their goals. By going beyond the usual study of the lot’s orientation, path of the

sun, and the likes, the studio delves deeper by learning about the needs of both the proponents,

demographics of the users, and even feasibility and marketability of the project!


3. Quality over quantity

GreCa is committed to shaping a more sustainable future through architecture and design. And with this future-forward vision, they welcome all types of projects - big and small - while delivering the same quality service. When asked what design style they want to be remembere for, both principal architects have one stand, “we don’t want to stick to one design style or look. We focus more on what the client needs and give our 100% best to deliver that.” Indeed, as much as experience and excellence are must-haves in the industry, versatility and flexibility are also key to succeeding in it. As long as they respect the trends and abide by laws mandated by the industry, they know they’re in the right direction.


GreCa has proven over the years that their philosophy is unconventional. And it’s definitely not because they’re young or they’re new in the industry; they know that once they get out of their box, many opportunities will open up. They know things should only get better from where they stand.




PROJECT NAME: TALI BEACH HOUSE

TYPOLOGY: RESIDENTIAL

PROJECT LOCATION: TALI BEACH, BATANGAS

DESCRIPTION: A chic 5-bedroom beach house design with the house pushed towards the rear of the property to create a massive garden upon entering the house. With the amenities situated in between the house and the garden, it creates a seamless connection between the interior and outdoor spaces.


"By going beyond the usual study of the lot’s orientation, path of the sun, and the likes, the studio delves deeper by learning about the needs of both the proponents, demographics of the users, and even feasibility and marketability of the project."


PROJECT NAME: BANANA BEACH VILLA

TYPOLOGY: RESIDENTIAL

PROJECT LOCATION: REAL, QUEZON

DESCRIPTION: Nestled in the midst of banana trees, the villa’s linear design provides a view of the sea across the whole house. Huge sliding wooden panels are then added for security as well as protection from natural elements.



PROJECT NAME: THE PESO BUILDING

TYPOLOGY: OFFICE

PROJECT LOCATION: BATANGAS CITY

DESCRIPTION: A play of volumes in the design of the Peso Building creates a unique exterior amidst the old structures that surround it.



PROJECT NAME: SERENITEA

TYPOLOGY: COMMERCIAL

PROJECT LOCATION: BGC

DESCRIPTION: A white canvass with clean gold accents make Serenitea’s shop a golden box of milktea goodness.



 


WORDS

Lean Karl Duanan


IMAGES

GreCa