Historical Architecture In Manila

Casa Manila


Casa Manila was created as a showcase of historical Filipino interior design and as a promotional place for the Intramuros Area. It is run by the Intramuros Administration, which works to rehabilitate Old Manila. The furniture was acquired from various sources, including generous donations from different families.


It's a very clean, well-ventilated, well-lighted place, and with the costumed guards around one can truly feel the formal atmosphere of the place. There are many rules in place to keep the house and its contents in top-notch condition, so visitors' privileges are very limited-- mostly, look but don't touch.

The lighting is especially dramatic, as it is filtered by capiz windows and ornately carved wooden screens. The ceilings are very nicely decorated, mostly with paint.


The furniture is almost entirely wood, and from the Spanish colonial and American colonial era. Mostly from the former. The overall effect is very grandiose, with intricate carvings, rich trimmings, and polished surfaces. The gentle texture of the woods, though, and the graceful proportions of the furnishings lend a subtle grace to the house.

I spotted plenty of bentwood furniture, which I really personally enjoyed looking at because their lines are so eloquently graceful. The large mirrors with ornate framing are also a wonder to see. The high ceilings and overall spacious feeling of the house contribute to its grand atmosphere.


I am grateful to the Intramuros Administration, for they were kind enough to grant me a student's permit to take photographs inside Casa Manila.

Author's Note:
I created this website back in 2007 for a school project when I was studying Interior Design in UP Diliman. It was supposed to be a temporary website, but I kinda just forgot about it and left it up. Anyway, checking my stats recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that these pages are still getting visits regularly! Who are you visitors? Students of design? Lovers of pretty old buildings?
Just remember I'm no authority on historical architecture, but I do hope I've somehow helped you in your research, and I hope I've somehow enhanced your appreciation of these fine structures. If you are interested in a super awesome informative entertaining tour of old Manila, please check out Carlos Celdran!
-- Feanne, a Filipino artist.
March 2012