The Nipa hut (Bahay Kubo)
is the mainstream form of housing. It is characterized by use of simple materials such as bamboo and coconut as the main sources ofwood. Cogon grass, Nipa palm leaves and coconut fronds are used as roof thatching. Most primitive homes are built on stilts due to frequent flooding during the rainy season. Regional variations include the use of thicker, and denser roof thatching in mountain areas, or longer stilts on coastal areas particularly if the structure is built over water. The architecture of other indigenous peoples may be characterized by an angular wooden roofs, bamboo in place of leafy thatching and ornate wooden carvings.
The Spaniards introduced stones as housing and building materials. The introduction of Christianity brought European churches, and architecture which subsequently became the center of most towns and cities. Spanish architecture can be found in Intramuros, Vigan, Iloilo, Jaro and other parts of the Philippines. Islamic and other Asian architecture can also be seen depicted on buildings such as mosques and temples.
The University of Santo Tomas Main Building ( UST Main Building ), designed by Fr. Roque Ruaño, O.P., is the first earthquake-resistant building in the Philippines. Ruaño was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
The Coconut Palace is an example of Philippine Architecture.
Contemporary architecture has a distinctively Western style although pre-Hispanic housing is still common in rural areas. American style suburban-gated communities are popular in the cities, including Manila, and the surrounding provinces.