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The Henry Resort Dumaguete

Evolution can sometimes be more interesting than revolution. The project site was once a thriving hotel in Dumaguete, but unfortunately fell into neglect. Through the reuse of it’s previous buildings and addition of new ones, it has been infused with new life and is revived to once again become Dumaguete’s premiere location.

The Henry Dumaguete Reception Building
  1. The site’s a mess, where do we start?
  2. What can we preserve from the previous architecture that can help tell its history?
  3. What can we learn from the previous architecture that can inform the way we design new structures so we can add to the story?
POLYGON Project The Henry Dumaguete
POLYGON Project The Henry Dumaguete
POLYGON Project The Henry Dumaguete
The Process

The design’s creative direction was lead by Eric Paras of A-11. They were the same team that helped transform a defunct residential compound in Manila into a chic boutique hotel, furniture store, and gallery.

We took elements from the old structures such as its materials and proportions, then used those to guide our design for the buildings assigned to us. For example, some of the new buildings needed to blend in like the pool lounge, and some like the entrance portal could take on a bolder stance and deviate.

For a hotel, two things are essential: the guest experience and the operations. Being the designer for The Henry is like assisting a magician. Keeping the guests delighted while making sure we can optimize the channels for their team to work behind the scenes. Then there’s collaborating with Interior Design team of A-11, to make sure the experience as you enter the gates to lounging around within the spaces is completely seamless.

Render view of The Henry Dumaguete reception building
Rendered view of the The Henry Dumaguete Pool Lounge
POLYGON Project The Henry Dumaguete

It takes a certain type of visionary to commission a project like this, when most developments in the Philippines would rather tear down and start from scratch. A clean slate is understandably the easy way to go. But in doing so, deprive a place and people of their history.

As an architect, reusing old structures are difficult but help preserve the delicate sense of place. And then it’s a matter of allowing that sense to guide the design whether to add or to improve. The process, tedious as it is, creates architecture relevant to the place, the time, and the people.

Learn more about The Henry Dumaguete:

Project Information

Program: Resort with gallery, restaurants, pool lounge, and commercial areas, branded with The Henry style of service.

Location: Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Year Completed: 2021


Client: The Henry Hotels and Resorts

Design Team: Tim Wong, Marianne Wong, Ivy San Andres, Rae Flores

Partners: Eric Paras and A-11, A3 Premium Builders

Photo: The Henry Resort Dumaguete

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