Benji Reyes
WORKS WITH: Recycled Philippine Hardwoods
CURRENTLY RESIDES: in an open-aired home of recycled wood and native materials, built atop running water on a mountainside in the rainforest of Antipolo, Philippines



"Wood is man's oldest natural resource

Wood played a vital role in man's emergence into the modern world.  As an all-important resource for fuel, tools and building material, wood helped shape society as well as the economy.  It is ironic that we profit from it's value but we give little attention to it's source.  The wanton cutting of trees has led to the denudation of our natural rain forests.  We try to justify our impetuous behavior by planting trees to farm.  Much of these trees planted are not even endemic to the region, thus disrupting the local ecology.  Greed, need and lack of knowledge make man's oldest natural resource continue to shape our lives by being the major cause of floods, landslides and threat to flora and fauna.

The Philippines plays host to over three thousand species of trees, most of which are endangered. Playing a minor role in the use of wood, we at Benji Reyes Design and Woodworks try to play a major role in the conservation of our last remaining rainforests by the introduction and education of the potential and value of the use of recycled wood.  By giving lectures on design and wood management at leading universities for the past ten years, I would like to believe that more people today are more aware of the value of recycled wood.

Old wood is more durable than new wood.  Besides being seasoned dried, sawyers used to select mature trees to fell.  We can never compare the denseness, grain quality and strength of old wood to new wood.  What else to corroborate these facts than by seeing century-old wooden houses still settled in and used by fourth and fifth generation owners.

With this newfound resource, we have started it's application in designing and building residential houses and resorts.  We adhere to our principle of "Build it once-build it right", thus engineering functional structures that will not only work well but will reacquaint it's owners and guests to the miracle and beauty of wood.

We are all stewards of this planet we live in.  Let us do our share and use our resources wisely."

-Benji Reyes