The Sapphire Bloc brings Art Deco to Ortigas landscape
April 14, 2015  • The Manila Bulletin

The main lobby of The Sapphire Bloc

As the skyline of Metro Manila changes with modern structures and high-rise buildings, an architectural jewel will soon stand out in the Ortigas Central Business District — a modern mixed-use masterpiece that combines contemporary city living with convenient shopping, dining and leisure.

The building is The Sapphire Bloc — one of the latest development projects of Robinsons Residences, the brand of innovative urban living solutions from Robinsons Land. Setting the tone for its pioneering spirit is an elegant yet timeless Art Deco design on its façade, with dynamic geometric lines and shapes in the classic chevron pattern evocative of the era, as well as with the use of rich colors and lavish ornamentation.

 The refined atmosphere extends well into its interior common spaces, as conceived by renowned design firm Design HQ (Hirayama + Quesada).

The Sapphire Bloc’s “terrific location” is what inspired the firm’s design principal Frenjick Quesada to come up with a memorable concept. Being bound on three sides by easy-access streets — Sapphire, Onyx and Garnet Roads — the building lends itself to being an architectural showcase, physically and visually.

“The interiors should be tailor-fit to discerning buyers who appreciate a well-designed development,” he said.

One of the highlights of the project is a commercial complex and alfresco promenade at the ground floor of the four-building vertical residential community, covering around 2,000 sqm of space.

Upon entering the main lobby, one will be welcomed by a bright and airy contemporary space graced with luxurious furniture set on an intricately patterned floor, plus a refreshing indoor garden in the center of the space.

Quesada takes full advantage of the over five-meter-high ceiling, not usually found in city condominium developments that tend to scrimp on space.

It may seem a challenge to translate Art Deco into day-to-day amenities and functional areas, but Quesada has taken on the challenge successfully by continuing with the basic design elements.

The gym takes on the industrial, masculine identity of the Art Deco aesthetic — “man in motion,” as Quesada aptly described it. He achieves this in the little details, such as industrial drop lights and saturated colors. The same goes for the game room, where residents can enjoy a Gatsby moment with its billiards table, poker table and board games.

The unique appeal of the Art Deco movement is something that unit owners can even extend into their very own living spaces. Quesada offers a few tips on how residents can achieve the vibrant yet elegant and sophisticated vibe.

“Start with an Art Deco piece. Learn why you like that particular design element. It will serve as a starting point,” he said.

The Sapphire Bloc is just one of the many city living solutions that embodies Robinsons Residences’ vision of “city living done right.” 

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