Design with Devi
Popi Laudico creates a kitchen attuned to its surrounds.
A kitchen designed by Popi Laudico
It boasts top-notch equipment, ample natural light, good ventilation, and a spectacular view of Balatero Cove. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and other forest creatures flutter about; a strange symphony of sounds made by bullfrogs, geckos, birds, and crickets provides round-the-clock background music. With a kitchen atmosphere like this, how can anyone not whip up fantastic dishes?
Designed by architect Popi Laudico, the kitchen follows the homeowners’ mandate to create a space where everyone can experience Mindoro’s pristine, splendid surroundings. This needed to be balanced with modern-day comforts and amenities, alongside the homeowners’ love for all things local and natural.
Most of the materials were sourced from around the area, such as the milky gray marble, the stones, the wood used as cladding and flooring, as well as the cogon for the roof. Laudico says that Mindoro’s cogon grass is of exceptional quality: The local grass coupled with the steep, carefully angled design provides roofing that has lasted for 17 years, hardly damaged by Mindoro’s seasonal typhoons.
The stainless-steel tops for the cooking and service areas, as well as for some of the fixtures, are concessions to address the harsh, briny air which easily corrodes other metals. Though visually prominent, natural materials balance the coldness and rigidity of the metal surfaces.
Laudico keeps the big appliances out of sight to preserve the cozy, rustic atmosphere. The refrigerator and freezer are in an adjacent room that also serves as a pantry. From the main kitchen, a door leads to a charming outdoor banggerahan retrofitted with a stainless steel sink. This gesture encapsulates the delicate balance that the architect and the homeowners strove for throughout the home.
This page: The architect added a banggerahan (traditional Filipino sink) adjacent to the kitchen. Opposite page, from top: For the service area, stainless steel was chosen for its resistance to the corrosive seaside air. Serveware, including plates and bowls by local ceramicist John Pettyjohn, is stored in an antique wooden cabinet.