Our Philippine house project: Roof Design
We’re building our dream home in the Philippines and want it to have a Filipino flavor. Our roof design seeks to capture a bit of the design aesthetic of the classic Philippine native house – the “bahay kubo”.
Here’s a little about the architectural design of our roof. Our roof design goes against the trend. Increasingly elaborate roof designs are very popular, especially for houses that are or aspire to be “upscale”. The more valleys, ridges, dormers and other complications the more impressive the house. Bob was brought up in the northern U.S. where every valley was another spot for ice and snow to build up and cause ice dams and leaks to form, so simple roofs are an instinctive choice.
These over-complex roofs are a recent development in the Philippines. Traditional Philippines houses had “dos aguas” or “quatro aguas” roofs. These terms are a carryover from the Spanish “un tejado de dos aguas”, a simple ridged roof or “un tejado de quatro aguas” a hip roof. The older members of my construction crew still understand and use these old Spanish terms.
The hip roof has been very popular in traditional Philippine buildings and for good reason. In a land where buildings are buffeted by typhoons every year, the hip roof is streamlined, giving the winds little purchase.
The roof above was popular in the 19th century but during the Commonwealth era one starts to see a modification which adds roof vents.
In Western architectural lingo such roofs are called “gablet” roofs or “Dutch gable” roofs.
Certainly the aesthetic for this roof is inspired by the roof profile of the beloved Philippine “bahay kubo” native bamboo house. Filipinos, rich or poor, seem to have a deep attachment to life in the provinces. For Filipinos, the provincial life and the bahay kubo conjure up an idyllic paradise lost. Of course Filipinos know about the hardships of provincial life, but those don’t seem to dilute the romantic attraction of life in the provinces. Just consider the current crop of TV soaps which alternate between a sorid, squabbling life in huge, pretentious houses in Manila, lives filled with greed, envy and bickering. Then in a flash you are in the provinces, in a bahay kubo,maybe with some pretty capiz windows–a harmonious pastoral life populated with kindly, wise lolos and lolas with birds singing and maybe a carabao contentedly ploughing in the background!
This rustic bahay kubo roof design, transferred to wood frame and concrete buildings, has evolved to incorporate a ventilator in the peak of the roof. We wanted to incorporate at least some Filipino style into our house and also realized the advantages of attic ventilation under our hot metal roof. Here’s our original design for a two story house.
We finally decided on a one story home but kept the roof design we liked so much! More at /our-house-project-design-devolution/
Here’s a single shot showing our bamboo bahay kubo and our house roof taking shape. See the similarities?