Concrete House by the Ocean opens up to the elements in The Philippines

Concrete House by the Ocean by architect Micaela Benedicto of MB Architecture Studio is designed as an open-air pavilion in The Philippines

Concrete House by the Ocean views
(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

In a way, Concrete House by the Ocean does what it says on the tin – this family residence in The Philippines celebrates a concrete construction in a privileged seaside plot near the city of Nasugbu in the province of Batangas. Its name's simplicity, however, can be deceptive, as architect Micaela Benedicto had to masterfully craft the house to take in the striking seaside views of its cliffside location and be a comfortable contemporary home in refined minimalist architecture for her clients. 

Concrete House by the Ocean view from the street

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

Concrete House by the Ocean: opening to the elements

Benedicto, who heads MB Architecture Studio, based in the country's capital of Manila, worked to create a house that 'reads as a covered terrace overlooking the ocean', rather than a conventional home. The result is a dwelling composed to resemble a long, open-air pavilion.  

Concrete House by the Ocean entrance

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

The main floor of the concrete structure, which was formed in situ using recycled wooden planks, is placed between two discreet, smaller volumes containing the bedrooms. There is a caretaker’s quarter and a utility area on the lower ground floor. 

Concrete House by the Ocean terrace and pool

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

Meanwhile, the central 12m-long living and gathering space can open up completely to the elements using retractable glazing on both of its sides. A swimming pool and decked terrace outside further expand this lounge when the windows are open, blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. 

Concrete House by the Ocean kitchen

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

The home's placement in its plot was important too, Benedicto explains: 'We built the house on the highest part of the land to maximise views and to minimise its footprint, and did away with elements such as exterior ceilings or wall finishes and claddings that could deteriorate more easily in the humid, seaside climate.'

Concrete House by the Ocean bedroom

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

'Concrete ledges provide protection from the heat and rain, and the whole roof doubles as a viewing deck.' 

Concrete House by the Ocean pool

(Image credit: Miguel Nacianceno)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).