Building Dreams: Erik Asinas shares his life as an architect

Erik Asinas, Chairman of Arch Haus Asia

Architecture is constantly evolving, combining modernism and futurism into concepts and designs that result into dynamic, breathtaking structures worthy of a second look.

Nowadays, every country has something to offer when it comes to architecture, from towering skyscrapers to fanciful houses—the HARPA Concert Hall in Iceland, the Bodegas Ysios winery in Spain, the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan, the Cabin Knapphullet in Norway, the Cayan Tower in Dubai, the City Center Tower in Manila, and more. Each and every one of these is designed to perfection, built to be inhabited and admired.

Behind all the stunning buildings that populate the world, there’s a team of creative minds who carefully planned, conceptualized, and saw the project through the end. Manila-based architect Erik Asinas of Arch Haus Asia, whose body of work includes the Koperasi Brunei, Jumeirah Heights, and Lombard by The Bay, sat down with Balikbayan Magazine and shared what it’s like to be someone who develops design concepts and brings them to life for a living.

An Architect Who Values Learning
Like any other architect, Asinas dreamed of opening his own firm. “Many architects put up their own office because that’s how they can freely work on what they want,” he said. “If you are an employee, you tend to be controlled.”

He attained this goal in 1997 when he founded Arch Haus Asia, which equates to Asinas brand of design and architecture. Today, Arch Haus Asia is a merger of highly competitive design-oriented teams, providing the highest level of quality and more comprehensive services in the field of Architecture. As an innovative company, it strives to create a positive transformation of the human-built environment by building the future with distinct professional services and zeal for excellence.

As the principal architect, Asinas loves working with his team aside from overseeing their work. He prides himself for being a team player who prefers collaborative effort, always happy to be involved in every project. “I love working with people to gain more fresh ideas all the way from conception to finish,” he said, exhibiting an admirable eagerness to learn and discover more despite being in the business for more than two decades already.

A Passionate Designer
Asinas’ architectural work is broad, covering extensive ground from landmark buildings, malls, hotels and resorts, residences, interior design, and master planning. Throughout his architectural career, he proudly claimed that design was the skill that served him best in whatever project he tackled, and it is intrinsically tied in with his philosophy as an architect which is to design, build, and transform. “What we design, we must build. We make sure to translate what the client envisions, and transform that idea into a success,” he explained.

With Arch Haus as a design firm, the projects they usually tackle revolve around design itself. This is where Asinas shines and thrives, treating every building like a work of art. His ability to masterfully balance function with aesthetic appeal, and his sensitivity to his clients’ spatial needs has truly placed him in the forefront of architecture, garnering the trust and confidence of many clients.

His Latest Undertaking: Lombard By The Bay
Lombard By The Bay is a township development located in Montemaria, the newest religious tourism destination. It overlooks the Verde Island Passage, the center of marine biodiversity, and is within walking distance from Mother of All Mary—the tallest statue of the Virgin Mary in the world.

Erik Asinas, Chairman of Arch Haus Asia with Premier Asia Pacific Real Estate & Development, Corp.’s Chairman, Roger Oriel (Left) and Rene Cinco, President and CEO (Right).

As the architect behind the residential development, Asinas wanted to encapture the view, the magic of Montemaria, and translate that into the condotel building. “I want Lombard By The Bay to complement what Montemaria has to offer—the statue and the landscape,” he explained.

He planned the landscape of Lombard By The Bay to emulate the winding road of its namesake, the Lombard Street in San Francisco. Its exterior is a mix of modern and industrial design, made to look elegant but not imposing for its residents. Its interior, on the other hand, is composed of marble and glass, exuding class and luxury with its monochromatic color scheme.

Avy Salonga, Business Development Manager, Pach Z. Cansana, Business
Development Director, Eric E. Asinas, Chairman, K3 Gamboa, Design Manager

The Meaning Of Success
“Success, to me, is being able to deliver what the client wants,” Asinas shared. He underlines the importance of having a good relationship with clients as key to delivering a successful project. “A successful project is when I’m given trust and confidence by the client. If you’re not given that, the project is bound to fail because there will be many interventions.”

His advice to young architects is to maintain a good work dynamic with your team and build a good relationship with your clients. “Be your own!” he added. “Don’t be afraid to let your imagination fly. There’s no such thing as an ugly design. No matter how simple or traditional your design might be, as long as it came from within, then that’s good enough.”

To learn more about Arch Haus Asia, visit
Photographed by Godwin Gasacao.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a feature writer based in the Philippines. In addition to writing for Balikbayan Magazine, she is a news correspondent for Asian Journal News-Manila.

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