THIS UST graduate is looking to spark a “revolution” in local architecture.
Jason Buensalido’s eponymous firm is behind Aurora Suites and Pavillion, Luscara Clubhouse and Aqua Boracay Beach Village.
The firm has also triumphed in several competitions in and out of the country including the Department of Education’s Millennium Schools and the University of the Philippines and La Farge’s “Ang Pinakamagandang Bahay sa Balat Ng Lupa” in 2008.
These designs are all featured in Buensalido’s book, “Random Responses,” which featured over 150 plans and blueprints of the firm’s past and future projects.
For Buensalido, a 2005 graduate, architecture should be an offspring of responses to climate, budget, material availability and aesthetics that fit in the country.
Last April, Buensalido’s firm launched “Project: Smart Home,” a townhouse designed for reducing flooding problems in areas near Marikina.
The design lifts the main house in stilts just like how the native bahay kubos were built, saving the entire structure from being submerged in floodwater. Its features also include regenerative amphibious floating terraces that can detach from the house so that families can row to the nearest evacuation centers in case of emergency.
“Architecture is able to cause positive change, it’s a source of a real solution. Imagine the number of people, families, and lives that will be improved because of that simple architectural solution,” he said.
Convincing clients to approve their ideas for the projects has always been the challenge for Buensalido Architects since the initial reaction of clients is to resent something new or to stay away from things that have never been done before.
“Architecture here is always an imitation after an imitation. Clients would always think, why would I spend 30 million for my house that you’re just going to experiment with? I’d rather have something that my neighbor has done,” said Buensalido.
Buensalido has also ventured in art scene, recently having his first art exhibit at the Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery titled “Confluences” last March 31. The exhibit featured a series of steel sculptures of architectural planes that go into one another.
Like architecture, Buensalido said that art was in a sense, creating something out of nothing and both are means of expression. According to him, the main similarity between the two fields is it both require coming up with concrete ways to aid the society while meeting demands from clients.
“Art questions while architecture questions and proposes a solution. If you look at art, it’s a critique of society while with architecture, it’s a critique and a solution,” he said.
Buensalido finished his masters degree in entrepreneurship in the Ateneo de Manila University in 2014. He also obtained certificates for finishing architectural courses from the Architectural Association Global School in Singapore in 2010.
He urged young professionals to resist the temptation of wanting everything to be instant and to realize the value of hard work, to be patient in starting from the bottom.
“You need to know your core values, your core beliefs, your core morals, and these will serve as your compass. Never allow external factors to dampen your desire to change the world,” he said.
Buensalido also encouraged students to be creative, not only in the field of art and architecture, but also in other fields and professions.
“We believe in contextual architecture, meaning that architecture speaks of the place, the people and the culture. Your expression, in any field, must be a real manifestation of who you are and what you believe in,” Buensalido said.