Nature: a source of inspiration for tomorrow’s buildings

The reason that Italian-Filipino company ITALPINAS Eco-logic Design and Development Corporation (ITPI) was founded at the beginning of 2009 was that its prime movers – Italian Arch. Romolo V. Nati and Filipino Atty. Jojo Leviste – both shared the same vision and passion in promoting sustainable developments in the Philippines.

“What we do in the present will change the future,” says Arch. Nati, Executive Chairman and CEO of ITPI. “We consume the earth’s resources as if they were built to last forever. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If we don’t act on it now, these resources will someday run out.” As a real estate developer, the ITPI team takes it upon themselves to build a sustainable environment and a better world. To do this, they take inspiration from nature.


Nature provides the inspiration for eco-friendly, earthquake,  and flood-free structures


“Albert Einstein once said, ‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,’” shares Atty. Leviste, ITPI President. “Nature shares with us each day the secrets of her beautiful, elegant, efficient and effortless creations; and these give us inspiration to design cost-effective and self-sustaining models, which we transform into architectural solutions.”



The performance-based design of Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro optimizes the building’s energy saving and producing aspects.


True to their word, ITPI can boast of their first mixed-use project, the Primavera Residences, which is located in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. Arch. Nati adds: “We gave particular attention to the design phase by following a strategy similar to what nature uses in evolving living structures: we call it ‘Performance-Based Design.’ This permits us to extensively study the project’s location to be able to optimize the building’s energy saving and producing aspects, delivering the best product to our clients and investors.” The emphasis on the design has allowed ITPI to reduce Primavera Residences’ overall environmental impact – from the reduction of energy consumption and optimizing construction techniques to its maintenance operations.

Through ITPI’s performance-based design strategy, they are able to come up with a well-performing building, which also happens to be beautiful. “We don’t design thinking about beauty; there is no such concept in nature,” explains Arch. Nati. “It’s the process that matters. We don’t design the form; we design the process that makes the form.”



In a termite mound, air gets drawn from the outside and circulated throughout the mound.


And with this came Primavera Residences – taking inspiration from a termite mound’s natural ventilation scheme, ITPI’s first project in CdO is able to cool the air from outside that gets drawn into the building. This air then is vented into the building’s floors creating a cross ventilation among the units inside it before exiting through the open space at the top, like a chimney. The constant air circulation, among other energy saving features of the building, results in a 32% decrease in air conditioner consumption. “Our design is a result of extensive research into the location of our project and its interaction with the different environmental elements,” says Atty. Leviste. “More than just a building, it is an entire system that enriches its surroundings and evolves through time with new components.”


At Primavera Residences, the constant air circulation, among other energy saving features of the building, results in a 32% decrease in air conditioner consumption


Aside from minimizing energy usage and being environmentally responsible, Primavera Residences is also known for its Italian design. It exudes modern and minimalist elegance throughout the entire building, whether in the exterior or interior.  “Other than benefiting from the high technology used in the design process, we also wanted our end-users to experience the Italian lifestyle without having to travel all the way to Italy,” says Arch. Nati. Partnering with Italian painter Nino Quartana, ITPI transformed Primavera Residences into an Italian gallery filled with Quartana’s work.



The work of Italian painter Nino Quartana graces the rooms and halls of Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro.


Nino Quartana, who is also a ceramist and stage designer from Sicily, began exhibiting his works in Italy in 1979. Since he moved to Manila in January 2007, his works have been featured in many local galleries, such as Galleria Duemila, Ayala Museum, the San Agustin Museum, and most recently, at Galeria Roces in Malacañang Palace. Aside from organizing exhibitions, Quartana has also conducted workshops in many parts of the country, from the city of Legazpi in the Bicol region to the city of Angono in the Rizal province, the Philippines’ art capital.


Partners JDL RVN 2Italian Arch. Romolo V. Nati and Filipino Atty. Jojo Leviste are prime movers in sustainable development in the Philippines.


His paintings at Primavera Residences, which, like ITPI’s works, are also influenced by nature, from their colors to their forms. Quartana’s works pay homage to the Philippines’ beautiful beaches. Although they are not explicitly represented, he is able to create the affinity between Italian impressions and Philippine landscapes just from the way he colors the sun, skies, seas and coral reefs.

His strength is his ability  to transmit to the viewers this particular image of nature. Quartana’s conceptual art, with its vivid clarity, transports his viewers into a whirlwind of spatial and ‘natural’ sensations that stir in new and unexpected emotions.

So step inside Primavera Residences and allow yourself to be carried away by nature. Buon viaggio!