Manila’s creative class has found a new local address
Belgian designer Gert Voorjans makes Manila his new muse
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.