Inside the nation’s greenest university lies a museum waiting to be discovered. Museo De La Salle, a Spanish colonial era-inspired “bahay na bato” is a must-see attraction in the modern city of Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Architectural Design History
Museo De La Salle features the enviable lifestyle of the Ilustradosor the Filipino elite during the Spanish colonial era – a structure representing its owner’s status in society, wealth, and personal style.It is popularly known as “bahay na bato” which is a noble version of the “bahay kubo.” This museum was patterned after some of the best “bahay na bato” in the Philippines such as the Constantino house in Balagtas, Bulacan, the Arnedo-Gonzales house in Apalit, Pampanga and the Santos-Joven-Panlilio house in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Its architecture reflects the hispanic influence as well as other influences. Nineteenth century Filipinos built fine houses made with solid stone foundations, overhanging wooden upper floors, tiled roofing, ornate balustrades and sliding windows made of Capiz shells. Integrated into its design is the efficient ventilation and elevated structure characteristic of the nipa hut. This became a popular design among the elite or middle class at that time.
Its façadeis impressive, what with its wide tall doors, windows with iron grilles, and other details such as ventanillas lined with balustres de torno, bandejas, and moldings. Its unique tile-roofed structure walled with adobe keeps the ground interior pleasantly cool.
At the back of the Museo, lies a beautiful secret oasis. Accessed from the azotea stairs is the jardinor garden, planted with traditional turn-of-the-century plant species, such as the champaca, cadena de amor, campanilla, sampaguita, dama de noche, adelfa, and ylang-ylang, as well as different kinds of gumamela. Artistry envelops the garden layout. Majestic pieces such as a fountain, granite benches, sculptures of the 19th century Philippine master carver-sculptor Isabelo Tampingco,could be found here.
Every home has its doors but Museo De La Salle offers a bigger one. The arched puerta mayor or main door, which is opened only for the exit and entrance of carriages and carrozas, is made of balayong, a kind of tree. A postigo or small door for pedestrians is cut into the puerta mayor.
Extensive research, meanwhile, went into the interior design details of the caida, sala mayor, despacho, cuarto, oratorio, comedor, and cocinain terms of color, woodwork, interior handpainting and styles during the Spanish colonial erauntil the early American colonial period.