Is Manila ready for Philippe Starck?
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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed careers—I’ve been a fashion designer, journalist, shopkeeper, blogger, mom. In between all of that I wished I had studied bag making instead of fashion design. Now that I’m older, I wish I had taken up interior design instead.
If I were 25 again, a dream job would be to work at yoo—the innovative design, branding and marketing company founded by Philippe Starck and international property entrepreneur John Hitchcox in 1999.

John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck at JIA Hong Kong
John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck at JIA Hotel, Hong Kong

Since the early ’90s I’ve been fan of Philippe Starck, having enjoyed once upon a time, New York’s Paramount Hotel

Paramount Hotel New York

The old Royalton Hotel

Royalton Hotel 1988

and the former JIA Hong Kong

JIA penthouse living room

You can imagine my excitement when I found out yoo was finally doing a project in Manila, care of Century Properties.
Yesterday I was in a media event with John Hitchcox and his yoo team at the Acqua Private Residences site in Mandaluyong.
With Hitchcox were yoo head of design Mark Davison, yoo designer Anastasia Kessaris, and yoo marketing director Michelle Van Vuuren.


It would’ve been too much for me if Philippe Starck himself were there.
yoo‘s individual designers also include Marcel Wanders, Jade Jagger, Anouska Hempel and Kelly Hoppen. Together they help developer clients, such as Century Properties, compete in the residential and hotel marketplace, by providing the very best in design, branding and marketing.

yoo‘s experience spans 33 different projects in 27 countries, throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East.
Some of their famous projects include: J Plus Hotel in Hong Kong (formerly JIA)

J Plus Hotel Hong Kong

Mama Shelter, Paris

Mama Shelter, Paris

yoo Pune, India


Dwell95, New York (residence of Gossip boy Chace Crawford 🙂 )

Dwell 95

and yoo Adelgade, Copenhagen


So Manila, are you ready for this?

Yesterday, Century Properties Group and yoo formally unveiled its much-awaited residential development called Acqua Iguazu.
The 1.3-billion peso development will be first residential tower in the Philippines to be interior-designed by the UK-based yoo inspired by Starck.
Location will be the fifth building to rise within Century Properties’ 2.4-hectare Acqua Private Residences project in Mandaluyong City.

Acqua Private Residences (Acqua Iguazu Tower is leftmost) (1
Acqua Iguazu Tower is at rightmost of Acqua Private Residences

Acqua Iguazu will rise to more than 50 storeys, with approximately 400 units.
On top of the building will be a distinctive crown called Cielo, a multi-level amenity deck full of yoo inspired by Starck design.

Cielo_night shot

Cielo will have a gushing waterfall and swimming pool


a Wonder bar, DJ booth, dance floor, plus indoor and outdoor library

Wonder bar and Library

Movie room

The Movie Room at Cielo

Function room, and dining area.


Plus, this could be the coolest lobby in Metro Manila.


For the Acqua Iguazu units, three interior design inspirations will serve as reference motifs for unit owners who wish to decorate in true yoo inspired by Starck style:

Minimal_Interior Design Inspiration

Nature_Interior Design Inspiration

Culture_Interior Design Inspiration

I was able to view the Acqua Iguazu showroom in Mandaluyong and see them in person, starting with the 1 Bedroom (36.18 to 38.70 sqm) with balcony, decorated in Minimal theme. The bed looks delicious.

Minimal design inspiration

You can see the trademark Philippe Starck-framed flatscreen TVs against the sheer white drapes

Minimal design inspiration

Bathroom is very spare, with Starck fixtures

Minimal bathroom
Minimal bathroom

Next was the 2 Bedroom (79.40 sqm) with balcony, decorated in Nature motif

Nature design inspiration

The framed flatscreen TV

Nature design inspiration

Living room

Nature design inspiration

and little bathroom

Philippe Starck bathroom

Here’s another 2 Bedroom rendered in Culture motif (79.40 sqm with balcony):
This was my favorite theme with the strongest Starck features (well maybe not that eagle chair)

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

Love the carpet

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

The canopy bed

Culture bedroom

and the burlesque dancer on top

Culture design inspiration

This beautiful wallpaper 🙂

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

and the moody, Starck bathroom

Philippe Starck bathrooms

You can see for yourself at the Acqua Iguazu showroom in Mandaluyong.
For viewing hours and location, call (632) 818.9041 or (0917) 5555.274.
To know more, go to

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