Toy Land

A sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion ar­chi­tect ap­plies les­sons from over two decades of de­sign to build an evolv­ing space that also dis­plays his per­sonal fas­ci­na­tion for con­tem­po­rary art toys

Malaysia Tatler Homes - - JUN/JUL ISSUE -

A sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion ar­chi­tect ap­plies les­sons from over two decades of de­sign to build an evolv­ing space that also dis­plays his per­sonal fas­ci­na­tion for con­tem­po­rary art toys

Though the ar­chi­tect Gil Coscol­luela pur­posely de­signed his two-storey house to take up a com­pact perime­ter of 500 square me­tres, he also made sure to keep an in­cred­i­ble sense of flow through­out. Re­fresh­ing drafts are a high­light of his home in the south, and cer­tainly some­thing to look for­ward to af­ter a long day of work in the cen­tral busi­ness district. This space is the fore­most dis­play of what Coscol­luela refers to as the start­ing point of any good de­sign – some­thing that is prac­ti­cal and com­ple­ments a per­son’s way of life. For him, a well-de­signed home is or­ganic, a shel­ter that may evolve into some­thing else in the future. “I made sure to plan ac­cord­ing to our fam­ily’s cur­rent lifestyle,” he says, “but I al­ways kept in mind that the space had to be flex­i­ble enough to ac­com­mo­date changes as the years went by.” It’s a con­certed ef­fort that takes into account the shift­ing needs of a young fam­ily. The open lay­out en­cour­ages time to­gether, but also in­cor­po­rates in­ti­mate spa­ces where each one can have a pri­vate mo­ment. “The house fuses these two ideas of open­ness and in­ti­macy seam­lessly,” says Coscol­luela. “One space flows into an­other, while also re­flect­ing our in­ter­ests.” For ex­am­ple, the up­stairs of­fice gives hus­band and wife room to take care of their pro­fes­sional en­deav­ours while the play­room is a haven for their two boys, com­plete with a well-stocked cos­tume cab­i­net. The home also dis­plays Coscol­luela’s per­sonal fas­ci­na­tion for con­tem­po­rary art as shown through an animation mu­ral in the garage by the Filipino graf­fiti artist Egg Fi­asco, which fea­tures iconic char­ac­ters such as Iron Man and Astro Boy. An­other stand­out piece is a life-size Hulk-like sculp­ture called Tem­per Tot by the Amer­i­can con­tem­po­rary artist Ron English, known as the ‘God­fa­ther’ of street art. Coscol­luela also has space re­served for a huge col­lec­tion of art toys called ‘Bear­bricks’ that are made and sold in lim­ited quan­ti­ties and venues by a Ja­panese com­pany. He now has 50 pieces of these rare bear fig­ures, which are de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with

brands such as Marvel, Chanel, Kiss, and the Sex Pis­tols. Among his other price­less col­lec­tions are lim­ited edi­tion Lego and rare superhero fig­urines as well as paint­ings and ki­netic sculp­tures by con­tem­po­rary Filipino artists like Lao Lian­ben and Arnel Borja. All of these unique pieces co­ex­ist with iconic fur­ni­ture by Philippe Starck and Foscarini, among other renowned de­sign­ers. A key piece in the liv­ing room is the iconic Serie Up or ‘Big Mama’ chair and ot­toman pair­ing by Gae­tano Pesce for B&B Italia, which con­jures up the im­age of a woman with a ball at her feet and pro­vides the ul­ti­mate com­fort. On the cof­fee ta­ble, Zaha Ha­did’s Niche cen­tre­piece for Alessi lends tex­ture while Coscol­luela makes use of a pair of Le Cor­bus­ier Sling chairs by Pierre Jean­neret and Char­lotte Per­riand for Cassina to flank a cen­tral art piece en­ti­tled Ur­ban Land­scape by Lito Carat­ing. “I per­son­ally feel that the look of a home should progress at the pace of its own­ers’ lives,” Coscol­luela re­flects. “Af­ter think­ing about the lay­out, putting dif­fer­ent de­tails to­gether to form a har­mo­nious look is the fun part.” He cites a pref­er­ence for mod­ern clas­sic fur­ni­ture, but in­sists that it is pos­si­ble to ef­fort­lessly put in a pop of colour, and to mix in quirky dé­cor and state­ment pieces. Euro­pean crafts­man­ship is also fea­tured ex­ten­sively in the home sim­ply be­cause Coscol­luela has ob­served that their fur­ni­ture pieces are those that can truly stand the test of time. They fit into his sig­na­ture lin­ear style as well as re­flect his sen­ti­ment about what a house should be: a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of some­thing that lasts. While this think­ing was in­spired and en­cour­aged by his grow­ing fam­ily – his wife, Chris­tine, and their sons, aged two and four – it was also some­thing Coscol­luela picked up early on in his child­hood. “The house I grew up in had an open plan, which made ev­ery­thing ac­ces­si­ble and com­fort­able,” he shares. “This is an idea I have re­flected in my work and in my own home.”

It is also to his par­ents that he at­tributes his en­try into ar­chi­tec­ture. His mother and sis­ter are both in­te­rior de­sign­ers, and his fa­ther is, of course, the famed ar­chi­tect Willy Coscol­luela, still a work­horse at 83 and the prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect of their fam­ily firm, WV Coscol­luela Ar­chi­tects. To­gether with his twin brother, also a prac­tic­ing ar­chi­tect, Coscol­luela is a se­nior part­ner at the firm, which has been in­volved in a va­ri­ety of high-pro­file lo­cal and for­eign projects. A team of 80 ar­chi­tects sup­ports them as they im­merse them­selves in ev­ery as­pect of the busi­ness – from de­sign and pro­duc­tion to fi­nance as well as hu­man re­source man­age­ment. Look­ing back on all that he has ac­com­plished to­gether with his fa­ther and brother at the firm, Coscol­luela shares that it was not his first in­ten­tion to be an ar­chi­tect. “I thought I would be in busi­ness,” he says, “but I was also very ex­posed to my fa­ther’s work, which he truly lived and breathed.” Si­mul­ta­ne­ous to look­ing into small busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties be­fore col­lege, Coscol­luela worked at his fa­ther’s of­fice, which slowly got him into ar­chi­tec­ture. He was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in the buil­dand-sell con­cept, which cir­cles back to his de­sign pri­or­ity of cre­at­ing spa­ces that work around their own­ers. His home show­cases a bal­ance be­tween form and func­tion, and ap­plies many of the les­sons he has learned about de­sign, par­tic­u­larly about when to re­strain and edit. “Var­i­ous ex­pe­ri­ences have def­i­nitely helped me ma­ture in my prac­tice,” he says. “I guess you can say that my home hints at el­e­ments I have picked up from over 20 years of de­sign­ing for oth­ers.” Coscol­luela has many ex­cit­ing projects com­ing up at work that in­clude a part­ner­ship with the Bri­tish ar­chi­tect Nor­man Foster through his Hong Kong of­fice, a fresh take on the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change, and a col­lab­o­ra­tion for a new mu­seum some­where in the metropolis. Still, he shares that home life is on an even keel in terms of be­ing won­der­fully ful­fill­ing. Since giv­ing up

This space is the fore­most dis­play of what Coscol­luela refers to as the start­ing point of any good de­sign – some­thing that is prac­ti­cal and com­ple­ments a per­son’s way of life

apart­ment liv­ing two years ago for a place in the sub­urbs, he has beenn kept busy by small get-to­geth­ers withh fam­ily and friends, fre­quent trav­els, playay dates, swim­ming les­sons, and many oth­erther happy oc­ca­sions. Right now, Coscol­luela says that while he still has many things hee would like to phys­i­cally add to the struc­ture,uc­ture, he is liv­ing in his dream home. “It may not have a large foot­print, but itt is a place of com­fort where my fam­i­ly­ily and I can en­joy the fresh air and openn spa­ces,” he says. “There is room to imag­ineine what the future will bring.”

THIS PAGE The Husk Chair by Pa­tri­cia Urquiola for B&B Italia adds a pop of colour to the sit­ting area in the master bed­room


In the foyer is one of the ar­chi­tect’s favourite pieces, Tem­per Tot by the Amer­i­can con­tem­po­rary artist Ron English

FROM LEFT The kitchen makes use of Foscarini Diesel Cage Lamps to il­lu­mi­nate the black leop­ard stone coun­ter­top, matched by Lem Pis­ton stools in stain­less steel. A vi­brant red vin­tage-style toaster by Smeg strikes a con­trast with the Siematic S2K Graphite Grey and Wild Oak Lam­i­nate; the paint­ing Sub­stance by Lao Lian­ben is the fo­cal point on a side wall

FROM TOP Iron Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica, Spi­derman, Hulk, and Thor fig­urines by Hot Toys, con­sid­ered the ‘Rolls Royce’ of toys, against a back­drop of burnt bricks by pot­tery artist Hadrian Mendoza; the boys’ col­lec­tion of toys in the play­room is al­ways kept in per­fect or­der; four-year old Iago sits on Serie Up or ‘Big Mama’ chair by Gae­tano Pesce for B&B Italia

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