Project Akbay: UP Interior Design students renovates Kuya Center for Street Children

Mar 6, 2023 0 comments

Every year, the graduating batch of the BS Interior Design program of the University of the Philippines Diliman executes a renovation project for a chosen beneficiary, and for this year, the Class of 2023 has chosen the Kuya Center for Street Children. 

Located in Cubao, Quezon City, the center was established by the Luzon Association of Religious Brothers and has served as a home and refuge for runaways, orphans, and kids from low-income families living on the streets. Kuya Center has served as a safe haven for male street children from ages 8 to 15 for the longest time, and it's the perfect place for the project. 

The task of the student designers was to transform the shelter into a space that welcomes and embraces children, empowering them to heal, grow, and become the best versions of themselves. This initiative is entitled “Project AKBAY: Disenyong Gabay Tungo sa Pangarap at Pag-asa.” After six months of raising funds, partnering with sponsors, and overseeing construction, the newly renovated space was finally turned over last February 27, 2023.

Take a look at the new and improved Kuya Center for Street Children.


Designer: Glenn Cultura, Kaye Picazo, Ren Santos, Johncis Quiambao, and Frances Dandan

The entrance of the shelter has a portal-like structure which was emphasized through a mural depicting the spirit of Akbay. The wall next to the entrance used to be empty, hence a bright yellow map-inspired mural was painted by the student-designers themselves. They added a customized logo of the Kuya Center as well.

With the renovations, the porch now gives off a fun childlike energy that warmly welcomes residents and visitors alike.

Main Area

Designers: Lawrence Competente, Frances Dandan, Johncis Quiambao, Daphne Quelapio, Yuki Añonuevo, and Lee Villarama

The main area is a multi-purpose space that accommodates various activities for the children such as tutoring, dining, TV viewing, and playtime. This area is used by the kids, staff, and volunteers. With the help of Boysen Paints, the walls were embellished with colorful murals to give the space more life.

The old main door was beaten up and deteriorating. Since it is an important feature, the door was custom-made with narrow fist-size viewers as requested by the client. The doors leading to the other spaces were also worn out, so they were replaced with new ones from RRO Doors. The main features of this area are the custom adjustable desks and chairs from Arksmith Furniture, a huge glow-up from the plastic tables and monobloc chairs that were too high for the kids to use before. 

Admin Office and Filing Room

Designers: Annika Miguel, Crystal Babst, Nikkei Castillo, Mabea Malana, Kai Joloyohoy, Joh Carreon, and Ren Santos

The admin and filing room are used by four social workers and educators. The initial space was cluttered and cramped. The office had bulky, mismatched furniture and broken tiles.

After a change of tiles from Felport International, new ergonomic furniture, and a custom built-in shelving and cabinet system, the office and filing room are now more conducive to productivity.

Educational Room

Designers: Ysai Castro, Annie Dela Cruz, Allyson Antonio, and Nikki Bedia

The Educational Room is used by several in-house educators that cater to children who need one-to-one discussions.

The space used to be full of supplies scattered on bulky steel shelves. The room was too cramped to be a learning space, hence the designers created a layout that accommodates both kids and teachers, thanks to pieces from Sogo furniture.


Designers: Vea Magpantay, Kaye Picazo, Ria Escultura, Rowell Villafuerte, Erika Feliciano, and Christine Roa

The kitchen was initially dark and it was in dire need of repair. The walls were peeling and cabinets were chipping. 

The new kitchen now features more storage options, with open shelving that have recessed lighting from Landlite for a better cooking and dining experience. The new backsplash and replaced furniture made the kitchen look bigger and brighter. To ensure better efficiency, AllHome supplied the kitchen with new appliances such as a refrigerator, rice cooker, and range hood. 


Designers: Paskee Manumbas, Ian Patarata, Ja-ne Calinawan, and Joyce Orda

The Laundry area is a common space where children and staff alike wash dishes and clothes. It needed a major update. The biggest transformation was the leaking flooring, which was completely redone and poured over with cement and epoxy.

To liven up the space, the pipes were repainted and colorful murals were added to the walls. Outdoor-friendly metal shelves were placed for storage.

Project Akbay, Kuya Center for Street Children

With the conclusion of Project Akbay, Kuya Center for Street Children has now become an embodiment of the dreams of its employees and children. Project Akbay’s success would have not been possible without the generous support of the project’s sponsors and partners as well as the creative minds of the people behind the project who put all their heart into giving Kuya Center’s Street Children a better home!

Here’s to hoping for the continuous growth of Project Akbay’s advocacy which is to create a space that allows healing and growth for children, aiding in the reinforcement of their self-confidence and sense of belonging. 

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