How Victor Consunji Is Redefining
The Filipino Home With Design
Could intelligent homes be the future?
When Victor Consunji walks into the room, it’s hard not to immediately feel his presence. It helps, of course, that he looks exactly like the sort of guy who’s done marathons and extreme races in all seven continents, with the physique you’d expect from someone who can run in ice-cold conditions. He also bears the energy of a forward-thinking businessman as the third-generation scion of a family of tycoons.
But we’re far from the Arctic today. We’re at the Kiara House at M Residences in Taguig, and it’s a muggy day, the first signs of summer warming the air. Thankfully, the air-conditioning is on full blast, so it’s easy to relax and take in the beauty of the place. The Kiara House is undoubtedly homey, with sleek architectural lines, wide open spaces, and a Google Nest Hub that allows you to change the colors in the room—it's exactly the sort of space made to accommodate endless days of working from home, withstand the pressure of any emergency, and still endure for generations to come.
Consunji, who is CEO of Victor Consunji Development Corporation, is the man behind all of this. He’s keen to ask people how they like the place, like an artist eager for feedback, continuously improving an opus. And he’s right to be curious about what people think, because M Residences could very well be the blueprint of the Filipino home of the future: comfortable, safe, and well-equipped. Consunji’s extensive background in real estate development has taught him to look ahead and future-proof homes that would span multiple generations.
But how do you create a home that will last you decades? According to Consunji, it begins with its design:
You need space.
The trend of building increasingly smaller homes has left little space for growing lifestyles, and it’s a regression that Consunji and his team aim to reverse.
“I think, prior to us, people were beginning to accept the absurdity of living in 40 square meters,” he shares. “I think people were beginning to accept the absurdity of hundreds of families packed into a building and basically giving up privacy. But if you have a home that is too small for you, it’s not going to matter between now and the future—it’s just going to get smaller.”
In comparison, the houses at M Residences are built on lots with areas up to 160 sqm, with total floor spaces as large as 260 sqm, giving people plenty of room. Space is the unifying factor of Consunji’s projects, and this is true even inside. “Many traditional and older designs would segregate the spaces,” he explains. “You had a specific living room, you had a specific den, or kitchen, and these were always dividing the house into separate functions. We've tried to design a house that brings everybody together.”
You need convenience and community.
Bucking current trends, Consunji and his team believe that a sense of convenience is best communicated not through the amenities a development offers, but the living spaces themselves.
“Our focus is the living unit because this is where you spend all your time,” Consunji explains. “Your home is where you make your memories and where you create experiences and bond with your loved ones.”
Consunji also acknowledges, however, that homes are never as insular as they seem, and location plays a huge role. “What’s going to change is your surroundings,” he says. “What’s going to change is the social parameters of how people deal with this. And so building a home is not just about how the home is built, but where it’s built.”
M Residences projects are located in prime locations in Taguig and Quezon City, keeping homeowners close to their professional lives while still affording some privacy for their personal lives.
“This is not something where, if you want that dream, you have to live 40 kilometers down south or somewhere absurdly far up north. You can still have that dream in the city,” Consunji says.
You need to be connected.
The last crucial characteristic of building a long-lasting home, according to Consunji, is connectivity.
“We’ve decided that we’ll design spaces that transcend generations,” he says. “So aside from space planning and good materials is also the ability to future-proof the house, and part of that is connectivity.”
“One of the key partners that we work with for M Residences is Globe,” he continues. “It provides a wide range of connectivity options, aside from our mobile phones. We also have WiFi connectivity. We also have fiber connectivity. This way, we can provide all the needs of the house, and also all the future needs of the house and its residents.”
Each home in M Residences has built-in WiFi connectivity through Globe at Home, essentially making each one an intelligent space. Aside from providing powerful, reliable access to the Internet, the connection also allows for modern conveniences like home automation and remote CCTV viewing.
For Consunji, however, it doesn’t have to stop there. The real value that M Residences’ partnership with Globe at Home brings is the fact that it allows your home to keep up with the times.
“In the now, maybe the flavor of the month is automated locks and smart aircons and voice control over IP,” he explains. “But who’s to say that in the future, there won’t be a whole new slew of devices that make life easier, right? I’m confident that, one, two, or three decades forward, these systems can be upgraded to suit the times.”
Despite these deviations from the growing trend of shrinking condos at outrageous prices, Consunji’s definition of home is rather old-school: It’s a place where people share their lives for decades. In that sense, he and his team aren’t so much redefining the Filipino home as they are shifting that definition back to what it should be.
Building a future-proof home is best done with a throwback to older values. Through space, convenience, and connectivity, Victor Consunji is reminding us that the Filipino home is a shared one.