Every year, the graduating batch of BS Interior Design program of University of the Philippines Diliman implements a rehabilitation project for a selected beneficiary. This special project is a course called ID 179 – a culmination of learnings about the practice of interior design applied in the true UP spirit of service.
For this year’s beneficiary, the Class of 2023 chose the Kuya Center for Street Children – a home and refuge for runaways, orphans, and children from low-income families (street families). Located in Cubao, Quezon City, the center was established by the Luzon Association of Religious Brothers. Kuya Center provides food, shelter, and education, and ensures the welfare of street boys from the age of 8 to 15.
The role of student designers, then, is to transform the living space into a space that welcomes and embraces children, empowering them to heal, grow, and become the best version of themselves. themselves. This initiative is titled “Project AKBAY: Design Guide Towards Dream and Hope.” After six months of fundraising, partnering with sponsors, and managing construction, the newly renovated space was finally turned over on February 27,2023.
Check out the new and improved Kuya Center for Street Children.
Designer: Glenn Cultura, Kaye Picazo, Ren Santos, Johncis Quiambao, and Frances Dandan
The entrance to the residence has a portal-like structure highlighted by a mural depicting the spirit of Akbay. The wall next to the entrance was previously empty, so a bright yellow mural inspired by the map was painted by the student designers themselves. They also added a customized logo to Kuya Center.
With the renovations, the balcony now provides a fun children’s playground that warmly welcomes residents and visitors.
Designers: Lawrence Compete, Frances Dandan, Johncis Quiambao, Daphne Quelapio, Yuki New Year, and Lee Villarama
The main area is a multi-purpose space that accommodates various activities for children such as teaching, dining, watching TV, and playtime. This area is used by children, staff, and volunteers. With the help of Boysen Paints, the walls were decorated with colorful murals to bring more life to the space.
The old main door is battered and damaged. Since this is an important part, the door is custom-made with narrow fist-size viewers as requested by the client. The doors leading to other spaces were also dilapidated, so they were replaced with new ones from RRO Doors. The main features of this area are custom adjustable desks and chairs from Arksmith Furniture, a large glow-up from plastic tables and monobloc chairs that are too high for children to use in the past.
Admin Office & Filing Room
Designers: Annika Miguel, Crystal Babst, Nikkei Castillo, Mabea Malana, Kai Joloyohoy, Joh Carreon, and Ren Santos
The admin and filing room is used by four social workers and teachers. The initial space is chaotic and cramped. The office has a lot of uneven furniture and worn tiles.
After a change of tiles from Felport International, new ergonomic furniture, and a custom built-in shelf and cabinet system, the office and filing room are now more productive.
Designers: Ysai Castro, Annie Dela Cruz, Allyson Antonio, and Nikki Bedia
The Educational Room is used by several in-house teachers who cater to children who need one-on-one discussions.
The space used to be full of supplies scattered on large iron shelves. The room is too narrow to be a learning space, so the designers created a layout that can be used by children and teachers, thanks to pieces from Sogo furniture.
Designers: Vea Magpantay, Kaye Picazo, Ria Sculpture, Rowell Villafuerte, Erika Feliciano, and Christine Roa
The kitchen was originally dark and it needed to be fixed. The walls were steaming and the cabinets were cracking.
The new kitchen now has more storage options, with open shelving with recessed lighting from Landlite for a better cooking and dining experience. The new backsplash and replaced furniture make the kitchen look bigger and brighter. To ensure better efficiency, AllHome provides the kitchen with new appliances such as a refrigerator, rice cooker, and range hood.
Designers: Paskee Manumbas, Ian Patarata, Ja-ne Calinawan, and Joyce Orda
The Laundry area is a common space where children and staff alike wash dishes and clothes. It needs a major update. The biggest change was the leaky floor, which was completely redone and poured with cement and epoxy.
To liven up the space, the pipes were repainted and colorful murals were added to the walls. Outdoor friendly metal shelves are installed for storage.
With the conclusion of Project Akbay, the Kuya Center for Street Children has now become the embodiment of the dreams of its employees and children. The success of Project Akbay would not have been possible without the generous support of the project’s sponsors and partners as well as the creative minds of the people behind the project who put their whole hearts into giving Street Children the Kuya Center and a better home!
Here’s hoping for the continued growth of Project Akbay’s advocacy which is to create a space that allows healing and growth for children, helping to strengthen their self-confidence and sense of belonging.