After years of working in show business as a dancer and choreographer, where I explore the spacial dimensions of dance, I now use my creative talents to design living spaces for those who see their homes as natural extensions of their souls.
How do we live? and, more precisely how should we live to become more fully who we are? Each life is different, and each living space should reflect the individuality of its owner.
Hans Christian’s second source of inspiration is, of course, Palawan’s indigenous style of building houses, using 100% natural materials. Instead of concrete walls and expensive air conditioning systems, the houses shown here are architecturally utilizing a tacit knowledge that has its origins in the wisdom of a people who knows how to deal with the islands climate.
A third aspect, which should not be overlooked, is the artistic one. Each building is not only as unique as its owner. Each house you see is a marvel of creative ideas, hand-crafted from its initial stages to the very finish. This takes time, of course. But good things come to those willing to wait for a few months.
Building is accordance with their natural surrounding, full of inspired ideas, practical solutions and enchantment. This website offers but a selection of photographs, but if you desire to live the way always felt you deserved, you can stay and spend your vacation at “The Uyuni Suite”.
Be in love, perhaps find a piece of land for your self near by, and discuss yours dreams with Hans Christian’s receptive mind.
Never running out of wild ideas and never duplicating himself, Hans-Christian Wagner, master of innovation and creative genius did it again! A combination of Asian, native and contemporary elements and a touch of Zen are used and applied to their best advantage in this lovely one of a kind home. Not a single detail is overlooked down to its furnishings and fixtures.
The octagonal house sits on concrete posts on a down slope with very interesting terrain. Approaching from an elevated pathway and down towards the house, one notices the layered split bamboo roofing (tad tad), it’s neutral gray blending with its surroundings. Going up a few steps, the low wooden plank staircase ends up on the threshold, a part of the wraparound anibong deck. The door is made of slatted wood frame built in a checkerboard fashion over smoked glass which welcomes you to an open space living room. There are sliding glass doors the whole 220 degrees which optimize the breathtaking and spectacular views of the valley, the layered mountains and the shifting clouds at a distance. You can almost feel God’s presence and a sense of serenity just soaking up the ambiance. With the recent rains, the mist over the mountains even offered a picture perfect panorama.
The one side of the property drops to almost 20 feet below with a giant acacia tree beside a natural spring, its canopy about the level of the deck giving a jungle like feeling on this side of the house. On the other side is the view of Kudyapi and Pamaypay (two homes designed and built by Hans-Christian as well) as if they were made with the neighbor’s view in mind. A hammock hangs in the middle of the deck for afternoon naps or simply, just hanging out.
The living room has ipil hardwood floors arranged in octagonal fashion to follow the shape of the house. It is sparsely but elegantly furnished with a slightly semicircular woven rattan sofa, with nicely upholstered seat cushions and a wooden arm rest on one side. An end table is cleverly designed and a second look reveals the shape of two testicular sacs with a cut out in the middle in the shape of the male organ. To the unimaginative, it looks like a two leaf clover. You just missed the cut-out! A painting of the fallen angel from an artist friend of Hans-Christian’s hangs on one wall greeting you as you enter the house. One need not guess the designer’s orientation.
Lighting fixtures on posts on each angle of the octagon are fiberglass lamps made to look like the fluted giant clam. Translucent glass beads were placed at the bottom of the lamps to reduce the glare. Outside, on the posts of the anibong deck are the signature bamboo lamps of Susan and Mike Tupas studded with colored glass beads and marbles. They shine like jewels when lighted at night.
A round dining table top cut across the full circumference of a large acacia tree sits on five identical tao tao wooden sculptures which serve as table legs.
The back of the living room is the kitchen painted red and black. It has brick walls and grayish black granite countertops with a silvery sheen. Talk about faux painting at its best. A clever and ingenious use of silver enamel paint made the simple plywood doors of the kitchen cabinets look like stainless steel! There is ample and appropriate storage for kitchen and cookware. Above the countertops are several hanging lamps made out of inverted aluminum tube pans, the bottom and removable part inverted again to form the upright base of the lamp which makes for an interesting and unique touch. There is a sliding window on the same side as the entry with the slatted checkerboard frame echoing that of the main door to the house.
The single bedroom juts out of one side of the octagon and also shares the same view as the living room. To one side are generously sized wardrobe cabinets with sliding shoji style doors as in the door to the bedroom. Instead of rice paper, a translucent fabric lining material was used. Inside the cabinets, a detailed slatted frame to support the lights on the upper end gives a special curtain jabot see through look when the lights are turned on with the doors closed. I will tell you it is better seen than described. Again, bamboo lamps hung horizontally on each side of the bed serve as reading lamps. Providing a native touch is a pair of sliding windows with capis shell inserts above and behind the double bed providing an interesting headboard effect (and a peek to the bathroom when opened).
One of the distinctive features of a Hans-Christian designed home is the bathroom quite unlike any other. It has a partial opening to the skies. It is a special romantic interest while bathing on a full moon. Its walls are made of slabs of quarried rocks cemented together which gave a beautiful collage pattern with its varying subtle shades of light yellow and brownish orange pigments. Small recessed cavities on the wall hold votive candleholders, not just for esthetics but a very practical solution for lighting during blackouts. The bathroom floor is covered with rows of round stones and random slabs of the same polished quarried rocks imbedded in cement in between slabs of wood coated with polyurethane to expose the natural grain but can withstand the moisture. The washing machine is secretly tucked away in a corner, a folding door hiding it from view. The space also opens to the side of the house to the laundry lines for drying clothes outdoors. The side door shares the same features as the main door to the house.
Written by Elsie Castrence