Manila’s cre­ative class has found a new lo­cal ad­dress

Bel­gian de­signer Gert Voor­jans makes Manila his new muse

Red Magazine - - Editor's Note | Contents - WORDS PRISTINE DE LEON

Of­ten de­scribed as baroque with An­twerp over­tones, Gert Voor­jans’ in­te­ri­ors are at once in­ti­mate and over­whelm­ing, ever ex­ert­ing their strange pa­rade of wit and whimsy. Over the years, he’s crowded his own nine­teenth-cen­tury town­house with mis­matched el­e­ments like pa­pier mâché car­ni­val masks, 17th cen­tury Flem­ish ta­pes­try, and a por­trait of rock god Jimi Hen­drix. “The master of mix­ing,” as the Wall Street

Jour­nal puts it, Voor­jans has de­signed the res­i­dences of Nina Garcia and Mick Jag­ger, as well as the in­te­ri­ors of Joyce bou­tique in Hong Kong, Coc­co­drillo in An­twerp, and Dries van Noten world­wide. If there’s a trade­mark to a Voor­jans de­sign, apart from its stud­ied yet un­apolo­getic max­i­mal­ist ten­den­cies, it’s how the room cap­tures the very spirit of the lo­cale.

About two years ago, Voor­jans was in Venice for the Bi­en­nale dis­cussing the idea of a pri­vate club with his friends. Some­one from Lon­don was in touch with peo­ple look­ing to set up a Soho House-style club in Manila, and Voor­jans, of course, was ap­pointed de­signer. Per­sian car­pets, mis­matched sil­ver­ware, an­tique and con­tem­po­rary crock­ery, coro­man­del-in­spired screens of rich fab­ric, and other sorts of imag­in­able cu­rios now adorn Manila House. A mix of eras and cul­tures find res­o­nance in the pri­vate club, defin­ing Filipino from the inim­itable eye of Gert Voor­jans.

This page: Gert Voor­jans’ stu­dio in An­twerp, Bel­gium adorned with a statue of an archer jux­ta­posed with a Mont­golfier lat­ern.

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