The New Beauty Of Las Casas Manila
Many are familiar with Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, the grand destination in Bataan, home to the heritage village comprised of well-preserved, ancestral homes from all across the country. Envisioned by preservationist Jerry Acuzar, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is visited with fondness, and has become an important destination that nurtures a greater appreciation for our history and architectural arts.
Expanding the Las Casas brand to Metro Manila, Acuzar developed Las Casas Manila and opened the boutique venue early 2018. Located along Roosevelt Ave., Las Casas Manila makes use of the 7,000sqm property, which was formerly owned by the Juico family.
On the property stands the renovated mansion of Felipe Sangil Juico, which was built in the 1960s, based on the design of National Artist for Architecture Pablo S. Antonio. It boasts an Art Deco feel that brings together luxury and romantic nostalgia.
The moment you turn into the driveway, you’re immediately transported to a different time. Leading up to the house is a cobblestone road, and after passing the quaint fountain on the way up to the main house, you’ll see a grand expanse of green that is guarded by a lovely tree that offers a cool shade in the summertime. And beside it is a foyer in red brick that lends a beautiful color contrast to the outdoor venue.
But more beautiful than the garden is the two-story home. Inside, be greeted by a warm yet luxurious palette of hard wood, marble and golden accents. At the center sits a winding staircase built with ornate metal work and intricate wood carvings, and it gives you a view of the small, outdoor pool.
Colorful paintings, including a depiction of Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss,” a grand mosaic, and other art pieces by Filipino artists are placed around staircase, bringing a whimsical air to the architectural gem.
While the artwork draws the eye in with their beautiful hues, the intricate carvings and details on the ceilings and walls bring interesting textural contrast, allowing visitors to further appreciate the preservation work done to the mansion.
On the ground floor, you’ll find the set up for the restaurant, which is operated by Cibo, headed by no less than renowned Chef Margarita Fores, and the Lily and Felipe Room, a space dedicated to the former owners, which looks like a lovely library and family room, perfect for Sunday afternoons of reading.
Walking into the Lily and Felipe Room, you’ll be welcomed by the grand portrait of Mrs. Juico, created by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, which stands right at the center of the space. Surrounding the artwork are intricately made, gilded wall accents and mirrors, along with lattice work made from wood. The mosaic wooden floor tiles reflect the warm and elegant ambience, polished to shine beautifully against the golden accents.
Las Casas Manila/ Casa Juico may have been built in the 1960s but it’s definitely not “old.” It stands as a modern piece, now part of the bigger city, and reverberates with new energy, successfully adding more decades to its new lease on life.
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