Oct 4, 2018

What looks like a “giant stone” along the terrain of Tagaytay is the home of sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso, his wife and Luxasia country manager Mutya, their two children, and their 25 dogs composed of Great Danes and Chihuahuas.

Also part of the dynamic family is their large number of cats, civets, piglets, bunnies, and a rescued owl.

We had a deeper look into the Buensuceso family in our August 2017 issue, where Jinggoy shared that the house continually evolves “like a giant block of stone, [and] then plants started to grow.” The couple was inspired by the environmentally healthy lifestyle they had while in Singapore, having been settled beside the rich tropical landscape of the Singapore Botanical Garden.

The house is a literal breath of fresh air. Its modernistic features fit perfectly with the rural landscape. Not only is it healthy for the family, but it also gives the Buensuceso dogs a healthy environment to lounge around. Great Danes and Chihuahuas are both moderately playful, so the vast surroundings give them enough space to exercise. I bet the dogs, even with their large company, don’t even feel a bit crowded.

If you’re curious about how unconventional this black house is, here’s a tour:

The exteriors

The lush greenery almost swallows the almost 1000-sqm house and lot, which makes it even more breathtaking. Despite being instilled with modern design and materials, the building doesn’t threaten the landscape. In fact, it respects it. The house just sits quietly in the middle of a terrain, indeed like a stone in an abundant forest.

But it’s ambience of simplicity isn’t a dull either. It may look simple because it’s dipped in a monochromatic and minimalistic style, but it is actually a result of complexity. The rigid construction of the house is a result of the balance between risky experiments of different shapes and lines. This just proves how complexity is not always about being heavily festooned. It can also be the result of the intricate, little, but intelligently planned things.

Plants bloom in every possible place. Trees, bamboos, and bulrushes cover the metal gates and fences. The Buensuceso’s sole use of black on the wood and metal comprising the outer structures give emphasis to the healthy state of plants. Spaces within the house’s borders, like the ones shown above, give much room for the family dogs and other animals to roam around and play in.

Living room

Entering the walls of the Buensuceso residence doesn’t mean the greeneries will be blocked out. Visitors are greeted by big glass windows that offer a wide view of the surroundings. The use of gray and black furniture, staying true to the overall theme of the house, doesn’t steal the attention of the guests from the environment.

There is also this set of wooden chairs and a table placed above a faux fur carpet where Buensuceso’s dogs loved to laze on. “I love combining organic things and natural things in our house [which] the family can use every time,” Jinggoy said. Seen behind Jinggoy in the above photo is a balcony that overlooks the whole terrain.


An anteroom, or a small room along a hallway that leads to another room, displays some of the works of Jinggoy. We can see in the above photo a chair he designed along with a photograph of shifting sand.


As you can see, the place is dominated by different touches of black: from the wooden cabinets, metal chairs, window frames, to the hanging lampshades. The Buensuceso kitchen is infused with very minimal designs, aside from the huge centerpiece of takip-asin leaves and the small bouquet. The white tiles on the walls and countertops make the place look welcoming and in good balance as they prevent the black furniture from dominating the area.

Dining area

The dining area holds Jinggoy’s favorite structure, which are the contemporary bulul. It’s the carved wooden figures displayed at the right side of the kitchen table. Bulul are known as Ifugao figurative sculptures built to guard the rice crop in the northern Luzon. But for Jinggoy, these represent “souls.” “Those [sculptures] represent souls eating or using the dining [area]. I like to think [that these] people are really part of our house,” Jinggoy said.


A canopy bed, with black-colored frames, of course, stands at the center of the couple’s bedroom. Giving color to the room’s monochromatic theme are the big green leaves of a plant placed beside the bed.

The artist’s studio

Not only is his home a work of art, but he also utilizes it to work on his art. The studio or personal atelier of Jinggoy is also within the compound. Also shown in the above photos are some of the sculptures he made.

Check out a full tour of the Buensuceso black house in this video:


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TAGS: black Buensuceso Hillside house interior Jinggoy Buensuceso minimalist Mutya Buensuceso Simple south Tagaytay Terrain