Known outside the Philippines as ‘exotic windowpane oyster panels,’ the Capiz window is an all-time classic in Philippine colonial architecture.
Mostly found in Spanish-Filipino colonial houses in northern Philippines, Capiz window panels combine the beauty of cut and polished oyster shells with Philippine hardwood. A work of craftsmanship, Capiz windows are held together by pegs or dowels, with the Capiz shells cut and polished by hand. Capiz panels, windows or screen dividers provide diffused natural interior lighting, lending the classic colonial look.
Today modern air-conditioning and window styles have replaced Capiz windows and Capiz-styled screens are seldom seen except in ancestral houses built before World War 2. Artisans are also hard to find since Capiz window and panelling are labor intensive and are relatively expensive compared with modern window constructions.
Long live Philippine furniture-making!