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The Sapphire Bloc shines with its Art Deco design
March 15, 2016  • Manila Bulletin

The grand lobby has all components fitting together.

During its prime, the Art Deco design movement has been a symbol of glamor and faith in technological and social progress. Imagine having this sense of grandness experienced right at one’s home – a design that captures the intricacies of Art Deco modified to give modern comfort and sophistication.

This design inspiration comes alive at Robinsons Residences’ The Sapphire Bloc which is a four-tower development at Ortigas Center in Pasig. The high-rise residential enclave has been noted for its location, a vibrant lifestyle hub that houses some of the most unique restaurants in the metro.

But the development stands out at first impression because of its trademark Art Deco architectural and interior design. The lobby gives a grand sense of arrival and total comfort the moment residents or their guests step in.

“Our envisioned persona is a young and driven urban sophisticate. So we have choreographed the experience of coming home by reinventing the Art Deco style in the contemporary setting,” explained Frenjick Quesada, design principal at the Design Hirayama + Quesada team which included Jobele Tee and Jeri Caingles for The Sapphire Bloc project.

Symmetry, scale and detail all play together to capture residents and guests’ appreciation all the way to the reception area.

“We drew on the design’s principles, particularly that of symmetry, to create a grand and genteel atmosphere. In making the space dynamic and expressive, we used lighting fixtures, such as the grand chandelier, in larger than life scale.”

To depict the movement accurately, Quesada’s team referred to books, vintage textiles and photographs to fully grasp the elements.

“We toured local Art Deco buildings in Manila to have first-hand experience of how it felt to be in such a glamorous space.  We soaked ourselves in special places where the materials are metallic and shiny, juxtaposed with pattern and sunburst forms and ornamentations. We translated elements into simpler ones but unmistakeably rich and opulent.”

But staying true to the design didn’t compromise the relevance of the enclave at present and capacities to be passed on for future generations.

“Our challenge was to come up with a space that ultimately felt current and forward looking,” said Quesada.  “Robinsons Residences’ choice of Art Deco excited us since it is bold and unique in today’s mix of popular styles.”

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