Metrobank Architecture and Design Excellence 2018

Archian Design Architect Studio Bacolod City
Archian Designs Architect Studio Projects

Project: 2012 MADE Architecture Competition

 “Filipino Identity, Global Appeal, Modern Setting, Environmentally Sensitive”
Location: Calatagan, Batangas
Architect: Arch Ian Jay Bantilan
Status: Competition

Winning Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Architecture

Winning Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Architecture

Questionnaires for the Two Finalists:

Arch Ian Jay Bantilan


Metrobank: What are you main inspirations for your physical design solution?

Arch Ian: When I first started, me and my team surveyed existing works on sloping site, Philippine Architecture, Asian and Latin American works. It lead us to the Bird House of Malaysia, a Modern Bamboo House in Japan and the Suckling Elephant House of Malaysia.

My inspiration for the Front Bamboo spires are the protruding poles in the fish pens in Bacolod City.

Metrobank: Which local or foreign architect or designer influenced your entry and how?

Arch Ian: Dr. Shams Naga (AIA, RIBA) was a former boss who taught me about the deeper meaning in Architecture. Another influence is Jacques Herzog of Herzog & De Meuron. His house with mechanical controls was my inspiration for the Bamboo Panels.

  1. How many schemes did you try before you chose this direction or solution?

We are on the 3rd Scheme with many variations and directions until we hit a breakthrough. I said, “This scheme looks like a Bahay Kubo. The stair parallels the ladder.” So we develop it. But eventually the Bahay Kubo look got lost but the conceptual masses are still there.

  1. Have you experimented with any of the elements you introduced in the design on any existing projects of yours current of in the past?

No. Most Clients want a “safe” design. They want cheap but don’t want to risk on Bamboo. I’ve suggested Bamboo to many people already.

  1. This is a conceptual design. How do you think your design may be affected if there are real clients that you really have to present this to and convince?

The innovator will always bear the brunt of criticism. If his work succeeds, the world will fill with copycats with works of lesser value. The Architect must gain the trust of the Client and the Client must be secure with the Architects work. He must create a strong relationship with the client.

  1. Obviously your designs are a mix of modern and traditional elements and materials. How do you propose to handle the traditional materials, which do not or are not available in forms that are processed for extensive or long term use?

There are available products to remedy and preserve these. For Bamboo, my solution is to work with a Consultant with extensive experience in the Material since most buildings use a substandard methods of construction. For the organic woven walls, I enclose them in glass.

Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012 Winner - Philippines Modern Bamboo Floor Site Plan

Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012 Winner – Philippines Modern Bamboo Floor Site Plan



1. When did you decide that you wanted to focus your skills to architecture?Kindly tell us the story.

I wanted to take advertising – Fine Arts or ECE. Then my uncle Engr. Arne Navara encouraged me that my strengths, math and art is in Architecture. Then my dad, Atty. Jerry Bantilan told me I had CAP scholarship and can go to any school I want. So I went to UST! Go uste!

2. What is your general design vision/philosophy as an architect?

I basically believe in four values: 1. Functional Spaces, 2. Tropical Asian Style, 3. Innovation/Technology and 4. Green Building Principles.

3. What were the major influences of your works as an architect?

I love Richard Meier, SCDA and Bedmar & Shi.

Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012 Winner - Modern Filipino Bamboo House

Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012 Winner – Modern Filipino Bamboo House


1. Which type of architectural structure do you specialize at? What is your most significant project and why?

I specialize in Residential and Commercial. I also want to venture into Asian Resorts, Innovative School buildings and iconic Government structures.

My significant project to date is a Seaside Restaurant in Banago, Bacolod City (for Construction)

2. What do you think is the contribution of the works that you have done to the development of Filipino Architecture? What is it that you can still contribute to Filipino Architecture?

Reinventing the Filipino Style. Architecture shouldn’t be static. It should change with time. It is the language, the masses and textures.

Developing a language of monumental Architecture.

3. Did you have projects related to social development?  What do you think is the impact of these works to the community where it is built?

With this competition, I was able to meet with AIDFI (Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation – helps Bacolenos earn a living using sustainable technologies) It’s leader, Auke Idzenga redesigned the ramp pump. These are foreigners who use their strength and creativity to help our own countrymen. I am currently helping to extend their workshop facility.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned throughout your profession and how did you apply it in your works and projects?

I used to throw myself directly into drawings. I learned from my boss, Dr Shams that you have to research. I used to research architecture for leisure. He taught me to always find something from the Library. I also learned diligence. When I was in college I had a poor work ethic. Diligence will provide you the impetus to be on top.


1. How do you think the society perceives architecture as a discipline?

In Bacolod and many local cities, Architecture is a Luxury. People haggle for price  because for them Architecture is an expense. Most of my clients start to appreciate the benefits of a good architect.

2. What is the relation of architecture in the status of our country as a developing nation?

Architecture can greatly increase the value of properties: from 2x to 100 times, – literally. The value of land in Japan is worth ten times more than the Philippines even though the risk of building is very high. This is because of the quality and value that they have added to themselves, including Architecture.

The value is actually a cycle. People perceive the value. Then more people come and more investment is added, then the value increases even more. Why should a coffee cost more in Paris or London? It is because of the value of 2500 years of history and investment. Architecture = Investment.

3. What do you think is the Architect’s role in the society?

An architect is responsible for Cultural Identity, Quality of Life, Social Responsibility and Public Safety.

4. Do Filipino Architects get enough appreciation or recognition locally?

Yes. But not enough. The government should recognize the role of the Architects in nation-building. We are the only nation where the architects have to fight (under our laws) to be ourselves (sign their own sheets)

Metrobank Architecture Winner - Modern House Bamboo Perspective

Metrobank Architecture Winner – Modern House Bamboo Perspective


1. What would the MADE Architecture Grand Prize title mean to you?

It means more opportunities and a bigger stage to help and promote NGOs. (AIDFI and Buglas Bamboo Institute.)

2. How are you going to spend the Php300,000 that we will give you if you win?

I’ll save it. I will also use it to start our a residential development. (Planned 4 Houses)

3. Are you planning any bigger strides as an architect in the near future? What is your next big thing?

I am planning to start a Real Estate Company in Bacolod City. I also want to teach in my own alma mater, UST.

End of the Interview.

Archian Designs Architect Studios is a Collaboration of Architects, Urban Planners, Interior Designers, Landscape Designers and Engineers in the Philippines. To see the contact information, email to, call 0907 7240452 or contact us.


About Archian
An Architect, Blogger and Strategic Thinker

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