ABS-CBN News

PH property developer's P650-M house featured in US mag

Posted at | Updated as of 06/21/13 6:41 PM

Century Properties managing director Robbie Antonio talks to celebrity Paris Hilton. Photo courtesy of Century Properties

MANILA, Philippines - Century Properties has made a name for itself in the Philippines with its luxury residential projects, often attached with famous names such as Trump, Versace, Missoni, Starck and even celebrity Paris Hilton.

Now the property developer's managing director Robbie Antonio is getting attention for having convinced world-famous architect Rem Koolhass to design his 25,000-square-foot house in Manila.

In its July issue, US magazine Vanity Fair came out with an article about Antonio titled "The Museum of Me."

Vanity Fair said the Koolhaas-designed house, which Antonio called "Stealth", reportedly costs "upwards of $15 million" (approximately P650 million).

"Indeed, the building, under construction on a small lot in Manila’s most exclusive neighborhood, has been kept largely quiet until now. It’s a series of boxes stacked together in an irregular pattern, with scooped-out windows that call to mind Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum, all wrapped in a charcoal-colored concrete-and-polyurethane 'skin'; the roof features a pool flowing into a dramatic waterfall," the magazine reported.

Koolhass was asked why he took on the residential commission, his first in 15 years, and he simply answered, "Well, basically Robbie." The Dutch architect seemed to have been impressed with Antonio's "enormous vision."

"Then we decided to basically not be our normal, occasionally dogmatic self but to completely adopt his point of view and see where it would end," Koolhaas was quoted as saying.

Koolhaas, who founded The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect and was named one of Time's most influential people in 2008. Among his famous works are the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, Casa da Musica in Portugal, Seattle Central Library and Seoul National University Museum of Art.

Antonio had originally wanted Koolhaas to design a building that could be rotated, but he told Vanity Fair it "would be detrimental to my budget."'

His house will also have a gallery, where he will display around two dozen of his portraits by some of the world's top artists such as Damien Hirst, Julian Schnabel, David LaChapelle, Julian Opie and Takashi Murakami.

Vanity Fair said Antonio spent $3 million (around P130 million) on these portraits.

Antonio is known to have made valuable connections with celebrities such as the Trumps and Hilton in New York. He has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a degree in Economics from Northwestern University.

He spent 5 years in New York, where he worked on the The Centurion and enlisted the help of Pritzker Prize Award-winning architect I.M. Pei to design it.

Antonio is the son of former Ambassador Jose Antonio, whose wealth is estimated at $300 million and was 25th in Forbes magazine's Top 40 list of richest people in the Philippines. The family owns listed property developer Century Properties Group, whose projects include luxury condo Essensa in Bonifacio Global City; Trump Tower Manila, Acqua Iguazu by yoo inspired by Starck and Azure Urban Resort Residences, whose beach club was designed by Paris Hilton.