The Architecture of the Philippines is a reflection of the history and heritage of the Philippines. The various types of native architecture found in the country were influenced by Malay, Hindu and Chinese cultures. Architectural styles were later affected by both the Spanish and American rule during the colonial era.
Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the main form of dwelling for a family in the Philippines was the nipa hut, a single room house composed of wood, bamboo or other native materials. Though the styles of the nipa hut varied throughout the country, almost all of them shared similar characteristics including having it raised slightly above ground on stilts and a steep roof. Aside from nipa huts, there were other small houses built on top of trees to prevent both animal and enemy attacks.
Spanish colonization introduced European architecture into the country. The influence of European architecture and its style actually came via the Antilles through the Manila Galleon. The most lasting legacy of Spain in terms of architecture was its colonial churches, which were designed by anonymous friar architects.
In this era, the nipa hut or Bahay Kubo gave way to the Bahay na Bato (stone house) and became the typical house of noble Filipinos. The Bahay na Bato followed the nipa hut's arrangements such as open ventilation and elevated apartments. The most obvious difference between the two houses would be the materials that was used to build them. The bahay na bato was constructed out of brick and stone rather than the traditional bamboo materials.
In the beginning of the American colonial period, the neoclassical style was the most influential. Later, Filipino architects educated in the United States and Europe were influenced by other European styles, like art deco.
- History of Philippine Architecture. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
- Architecture in the Philippines. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
Valera-Turalba, Maria Cristina. Philippine Heritage Architecture before 1521 to the 1970s. Pasig: Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2005.