Island Home Blue Print Series: Finding an Architect

Remember last year when we started planning setting up something in the Philippines? That plan was indefinitely put on hold when I found a job and got pregnant.  After the recent trip home, we are going to kick start this project. Mind you, it's going to be a 1-2 year plan  setting it up, I will document  preparations here on the blog.  I will call this series "Island Home Blue Print"

I had three goals during my trip home last September.
  1. To get the topography of the land, properly surveyed by a geodetic engineer. (Status: Done)
  2. To obtain information from the local government of all the documentations that need processing to assess a timeline. (Status: Done)
  3. Lastly, to find an architect, someone willing to work online.   (Status: Done) 
Though I'm an architect myself, I prefer someone I personally know, drafting design ideas. With their experience, more heads are better than one. Additionally, someone looking after the project based in the Philippines seems like a wise idea.

What are our preferred qualifications when looking for an Architect of the project are as follows:
  • Professional, someone who responds promptly to emails and phone calls. Honest and trust-worthy with a clear approach in every stage of the project. 
  • Online Savvy, given the distance and time difference, someone willing to Skype and communicate online.
  • Realistic and Flexible, open to new ideas but are realistic in implementation of these ideas.
  • Great track record, highly recommended by their clients. The architects we are going to work with designed my Mom's home that withstood lots of typhoons and still looking well after more than 2 decades despite the lack of maintenance.
  • Small Firm with great attention to detail and client relationship, we are looking for a more personal approach on the project.  
  • Not a classmate. I have lots of architect classmates but I choose to work with someone I  foresee having a more professional relationship with. Preferably someone older. (Haha, it makes me feel younger? just kidding)
  • Passionate.  Someone passionate about what they do. Sometimes it's not just about the money. It's the love for design and construction.

Current status: we've just finished the topographical survey and passed this information on to the architect(s), a father and son team who will provide us with a design fee.  Let's see. 

I will actively participate in the design process and will be mostly involved in the Interior Design and material selections for the project.  

The initial phase is to design a house where we can stay whenever we come home.  With that, I am excited and look forward to the creative process of conceptualizing.

Especially in the Philippines, please don't fall into the trap of hiring engineers/contractors offering design and build with the design services for free.  These projects almost always end up in a haywire.

Here are interesting guides how to find  and hire an architect  for your project and most importantly, why:
How to Find an Architect
How to Hire an Architect

Till next post on this series.
Love and light,

We had to postpone our island home construction. After further research, we won't be living in Palawan anymore. We had to say goodbye to Coron in the meantime. We have faced many setbacks despite the support and help of kind people we have met there. Geographical and financial factors determined the feasibility of our business plans there and our numerous attempts  and exhausted options resulted to not being able to set up there.  Maybe one day, Coron being one of our favorite islands in the Philippines will become a home too in the future. For now, we're focusing on setting up a business first before constructing a home. 

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  1. will it be a house to move there someday or just a resort for you to visit from time to time from Dubai?

    1. Hi Dezzy, it will be a house will will move in to someday when we leave Dubai for good.

  2. wow! what an exciting venture!


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