Top design firm infuses welcome-home feels in new Makati serviced residences

Published November 29, 2021, 4:28 PM

by Johannes Chua

If there’s one realization this global pandemic has confirmed, it is that serviced residences have become an alternative not just for the traveling business set, but for anyone needing extended leisure stays away from home.

Whatever pre-2020 notion one might have had of these home-away-from-home venues will change with the new Somerset Central Salcedo Makati, a redefined version of a serviced residence.

Located in the Makati CBD, Somerset Central Salcedo is equipped for the current work and lifestyle shift yet imbued with welcome-home feels characteristic of most Filipino homecomings. Who wouldn’t want to come home to that, no matter how brief or extended the stay may be?

Think infusion of patterns and textures with clean lines and a warm yet vibrant color palette. All these added to the modernity distinctly expressed in the materials used, resulting in a bespoke residential feel.

Lobby lounge of Somerset Central Salcedo Makati.

Behind this sensory mix is the HBA Manila Design Office, a name associated with impressive, inspiring, and memorable design spaces in Metro Manila. As with all their projects, the team merged characteristics of the locality and culture into the design narrative.

HBA partner and HBA Manila Design Office principal Norman Agleron said that the design was inspired by fireworks infused with the Filipino’s sense of celebration and creativity – a captivated wonder that provides a business hotel experience for the guests, articulating a sense of celebration and wonder to its visitors.

“The anticipation of the unexpected, the sparkling lights, and the grandeur of the display are what lures people to the fireworks. Added to that are the indigenous textiles applied to the interior architecture and items designed by Filipino designers giving this establishment a warmer touch of distinctive beauty. These elements are articulated throughout the design of the interior, landscaping, and the artworks,” Agleron explained.

Dining area in one of the units.

He also noted how the unique and welcoming arrival experience will provide the suitable transition from the city street scene outside to the lobby’s homey interiors. “The introduction of curved forms create a fluid, somewhat organic, feel as the guests walk through the lobby spaces to the lifts that will take them to the contemporary-designed residential units.”

Global trend in the hospitality industry, which had evolved along with today’s practical travelers and seasoned imaginative remote movers of the corporate field, have also helped set up how today’s serviced residences are designed.

“Previously, serviced apartments were usually preferred by long-stay guests over hotels generally for cost-effective reasons. But as the so-called new normal evolves from the pandemic, in our view, both short and long-term stay guests will prefer serviced apartments not just for practical but mainly for health safety reasons. To provide the guests’ other needs, hotels heavily rely on communal and shared facilities like the lounge, café/ all-day dining, etc., so the risks of constant exposure and contact are always there.

A corridor looks comforting with the use of warm tones.

“In comparison, each serviced apartment is fully furnished with its own study, dining, kitchen and laundry amenities, so guests would not need to constantly go out of their units. On top of comfortable and private sleeping space, being inside self-sufficient, fully-equipped units, guests could just work, relax, cook, dine, and even do their own washing inside while maintaining focus on their business or travel agenda. Characteristically, serviced apartments functionally address all the main issues raised by traveling in the new normal.”

Another bonus that works well with today’s typical remotely connected but fully engaged family, Somerset Central Salcedo Makati has larger apartment units, which work well when the guest’s partner or family is part of the mobile work or staycation team.

Fully equipped gym exclusive to guests to keep their fitness routine during their stay.

“Even with the self-contained apartments, there will still be options for social settings for the guests to enjoy if they opt to. They will have access to a café/ restaurant and the other shared amenities as needed. There is also a fully equipped gym exclusive to guests to keep their fitness routine during their stay,” said Agleron. “Consistent with our design inspiration, working on this project was fun and exciting for us as we showcased the inimitable festive spirit of Filipinos that perfectly complements our hospitable nature.”

Looking back at the over nine months’ work partnership to create these spaces in the serviced residences, Agleron had this to say: “We feel grateful for the opportunity that our client, Grand Pine Inc., has given us to design the interiors of Somerset Central Salcedo Makati, and proud of our team at HBA Manila for the creative synergy that resulted in a uniquely new destination in the Makati CBD. Of course, we are extremely excited that the construction will be completed despite the challenges of the pandemic.”

Aligned with the global directions of its principal international design leader HBA, the HBA Manila Design Office redefines hospitality design and luxury interiors with the market and world that continue to evolve.