MANILAMAN: MODERN PLAYGROUND
Modern industrial elements and graphic, playful accents make this ad office a cool place to work and hang out in
When advertising production house ManilaMan was established, it had only four people—its founders—in a 12-sqm office space. When the team grew to 12, they eventually moved into a 65-sqm playground. But further expansion and the need for extra room for client meetings and freelance suppliers required more space. Good thing an office freed up at Pacific Office Machines Building along EDSA, one of the older, midcentury buildings in the area.
According to managing director Miguel Gutierrez, they felt lucky to have stumbled upon this 250-sqm, open-layout space.
“Suwerte kami when we got here. Everything was fixed, [even if] outside, luma na yung building,” says Miguel. The previous tenant occupied it for less than a year, so the walls and flooring, among others, were practically new. “The layout has always been like this, with a glass partition for the boardroom,” Miguel adds. All the staff had to do was clean up and bring in their work desks.
The office has a modern industrial vibe with hints of breezy Scandinavian aesthetics. While there are individual working stations, there are common spaces and lounge areas which encourage collaboration. The glass walls of the boardroom give the privacy needed for client meetings without cramping the space.
“The main focus of the office design is the experience of everyone—not just the clients, photography HANS FAUSTO pictorial direaction TALA SINGSON styling assistant KAMILA GARCIA words BUBBLES SALVADOR
but also the employees and even the suppliers when they come here. That’s…what really brings the projects to us,” Miguel explains.
ManilaMan was founded in 2012 by Miguel, together with Alec Rivera, Paolo Abrihan, and Gio Puyat. As a startup, they did mostly event coverage, and later transitioned into producing TV commercials, digital ads, and cinema ads. “We want projects where we have more input in terms of creativity and execution,” adds Miguel.
“We really wanted to focus on experience and points of contact with clients and agencies, which is our office. Ito na yung pinaka-representation
namin. What we want you to feel when you’re with us [is that] we’re fun and we can collaborate,” he says.
This seems to be exactly the vibe here at ManilaMan’s office. The biggest compliment? When people tease them to host a party. They’ve given in a couple of times. “Everything gets trashed...pero pumupunta talaga sila, even clients. I guess that’s a compliment. When I invite them here, they really come because they know it’s going to be a good party.”
(CLOCKWISE, FROM FAR LEFT) Found throughout the office are props used for shoots and some personal gifts from the directors they work with; open workspaces and glass partitions encourage better collaboration; one wall sports this eye-catching mural that lends a laid-back vibe to this work space; the building’s original window grills were maintained, allowing natural light to come through.