59BTP-House is an additions and alterations project on an existing home, carried out by architecture studio ONG&ONG, located in Bukit Timah, Singapore. The owner’s father built the original house and the building was in an awkward position on the plot.
From the architect: According to the brief, the client wanted to have two master bedrooms along with four bedrooms – this required additional floor area as the original house area could not comfortably fit in the extra rooms.
However, the architects resolved to make use of the existing structure and maintain its orientation by simply adding an additional volume to accommodate the extra bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms.
The finished work is a successful amalgamation of the old house – with its 1950s look – and the new wing that closely follows the original structure whilst suitably updating it according to modern architectural trends.
For example, a stonewall in the original house was replaced with a concrete wall to give it a more modern finish whilst still staying true to the spirit of the earlier design.
Wherever possible, the original material was retained, such as the plaster that forms the upper levels. Also, the designers tried to maintain a similar look, so the new structure replicates the design of the old house by keeping the top volume bigger than the first floor, which is recessed.
Visually, the house appears to be a new building, yet there are scattered elements that make the older house recognizable even within this newer build, and that was essentially what the client desired for his childhood home.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Far Sight House is a two story property designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, showcasing a rear rooftop terrace overlooking the valley below in Singapore. This house sits on high ground, and the rear of the site has wonderful views overlooking the greener and more affluent residential addresses in Singapore.
Our client’s brief was to design a home of two stories, with an attic, and importantly a roof terrace facing the rear and overlooking the valley.
The house is expressed by coupling two forms; a tall and narrow single-room width block housing the master bedroom, study and attic-living and the wider block at the rear accommodating two children bedrooms side by side. The formal expression the house is also a response to the strict local interpretation of attic guidelines.
The house deploys a multi-layered facade of operable glass doors and windows, a veil of operable vertical timber louvers punctuated by clear glass bay windows, horizontal aluminum sunscreen and vertically drawn blinds. Different expressions of material and composition but primarily enabling the owners to control the amount of sun screening, breeze, and view. Sometimes it is not just what the owners want to see, but what the neighbors can see of them.
Semi-detached houses tend to suffer from gloom in the deep central parts of the house. Unlike detached houses, semi-detached homes have only openings on three sides. Careful planning and understand the nature of daylight shifting throughout the day has resulted in daylight and breezes refreshing each corner of the house. Light and air wells are further slotted in-between the party wall and the house. All three levels are connected via a staircase finished in limestone.
The layout on the first storey is simple, comprising the living room, dining, kitchen, guest room and a small children’s pool. On the second storey, a family room and three bedrooms for our client and their two children. The master bedroom has a little study loft above and that is further linked to the attic living and roof terrace.
Irrespective of level or location, the casual light that bathes the internal spaces of the house leaves no area undesirable but it is the casual attic terrace with its ‘million-dollar’ views that is the literal ‘light-house’; It’s such a hit that the owners host most of their parties and family gatherings on the third level, to see and be seen from all around.
Photos: Marc Tey
17BR-House is an early 1900’s Peranakan shophouse that has been just recently renovated into a contemporary family home by ONG&ONG in Singapore. The homeowners wanted to build a warm family home that would preserve the shophouse’s historical character and reverse the drastic alterations done during its previous incarnation as an office space.
In reinstating 17BR-House as a residence, an inner courtyard was created on the first floor, allowing sunlight and air to flow freely into and throughout the house. The installation of a green wall as well as the covering of the floor entirely in carpet grass transforms the courtyard into a quaint indoor garden. This space forms the visual focus for the first floor; with the absence of partition walls, there is a seamless visual transition from the kitchen at the back of the building to the living area at the front, allowing the family-oriented homeowner to interact with his children while indulging in culinary exploits in the kitchen.
A dramatic spiral staircase spanning all three levels maximizes vertical circulation while skylights in the jack roof directly above the staircase provide natural illumination. Timber beams installed in the ceiling of the first floor and the roof adds an old world charm to the home.
The second floor holds two bedrooms; both share a bathroom, a long corridor lined with bookshelves and storage space, as well as equally enjoyable views, one of the traditional facade and the other of the green wall in the courtyard.
The top floor houses the master bedroom and a separate bathroom visually connected to the bedroom via a long slab of limestone that serves as the top counter of the bathroom’s vanity and continues onward into the corridor, forming a functional desk area amidst a bookshelf-lined wall. The skylight in the master bathroom illuminates both the bathroom and the balcony on the second floor with natural daylight.
The shophouse’s rear comprises a kitchen, the service quarters as well as a 7-metre long swimming pool, with traditional glazed floor tiles and a replica spiral staircase at the back reminiscent of the shophouse’s early days.
The façade’s restoration, with the reversion to a single pintu pagar door, the reinstatement of the traditional, taller windows on the second floor, and the use of shiny enamel-finished dado tiles, completes the project that goes beyond the creation of a perfect, modern family home to a preservation of an invaluable cultural heritage.
The shophouse had been in a bad state, having been stripped of its historical characteristics and renovated for office use. With much support from the client, the architects made a conscious effort to bring these traditional elements back while also reinstating the shophouse to residential use. Considering the scale of the restorative work required the final product is both a perfect home for the modern family as well as a fitting tribute to the shophouse’s history.
Photos: Aaron Pocock
Dalvey Road House is a sensational modern tropical bungalow design by Guz Architects, which integrates nature throughout the design of the home, which is located in Singapore. Completed in 2012, the architecture and open spaces encourage cross ventilation and floor to ceiling glass windows enables the multi-generational homeowners to take in the beauty that surrounds them. The home features a flat roof design cantilevering off the facade providing shade and also incorporating a green roof to allow for cooling.
The client, inspired by her visit to Fallingwater, sought out Guz Architects for a tropical interpretation on a challenging triangular site with sloping terrain and a narrow entrance. This house is very much in keeping with the spirit of Fallingwater, whose design seamlessly integrates nature into the home. Just as Fallingwater’s stair shaped cantilevers emphasized its horizontality, Guz used the different levels to stratify the different generations of the family living under one roof.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall (Courtesy of Guz Architects)
House at Neil Road celebrates the traditional charm of Peranakan shophouses with the addition of new spaces sensitive to the building’s rich heritage, by ONG&ONG, in the conservation district of Singapore. Akin to traditional shophouses, the spaces are interspersed with courtyards that serve as visual focal points. The original courtyard forms the heart of the common areas while a newer courtyard marks the transition from the old structure into its new extension.
The shophouse walls tell a similar story of progression from old to new, with paintwork along the forecourt’s boundary walls stripped and left unfinished, revealing layers of paintwork and the shophouse’s history. Exposed brick walls reveal old bricks manufactured with local clay that are no longer in production. This creates a stark contrast when juxtaposed with the original courtyard wall – its original blue paintwork and folklore-inspired fresco restored to celebrate the shophouse’s Peranakan heritage.
Other preservation efforts include the restoration of the facade; the original red cement flooring of the five-foot way, living and dining spaces; the original timber flooring and exposed floor joists of the upper levels; and the terrazzo finish for the bathrooms, which highlights an age-old craft that is becoming a dying trade in Singapore. Details such as bathroom vanities accented with glazed Peranakan tiles, the old iron main gate and the “pintu pagar” (Malay for “door gate”) demarcating the master bedroom’s entrance further enrich the authentic tonalities of the shophouse.
With its blending of old and new elements, this house not only preserves a unique cultural heritage, but also acts as a storytelling device that narrates the histories of its past and present occupants.
Photos: Courtesy of ONG&ONG
The Cluny House is a cozy and luxurious yet sustainable family home that has been designed by Guz Architects, situated in Singapore. The residence demonstrates how technology, planning and design can be applied sensitively to generate a comfortable, luxurious, yet sustainable family home.
Photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters are employed together with design for passive cooling and cross ventilation to reduce energy usage. Irrigation tanks and roof gardens collect and recycle rainwater; and the use of materials such as recycled teak and artificial timber adds warmth without compromising the finite resources of our environment.
The house is laid out around a central water court that forms the focal point of the project. Lushly planted roof gardens surround this and add to the effect that nature is evident in every part of the house.
Although the house is high tech – using state of the art EIB systems, photovoltaic cells, security systems – these are integrated discreetly and work with the natural environment of the house rather than against it.
This integration of technology and nature deserves special mention in a compelling design that could realistically become the model for sustainable living.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall
The Willow House is an incredible open and airy home taking advantage of it’s surrounding natural environment, designed by Guz Architects in Singapore. Completed in late 2012 for a young family, the home features an open floor plan that integrates koi ponds, swimming pools, shallow reflecting pools and a central courtyard with an oculus that allows a tree to grow from the ground floor through to the green roof.
The architects tried to take advantage of the hilltop position by opening up the building plan to make the most of the prevailing breezes and of what little wind there is in Singapore. Orientation and massing of the house was instrumental in encouraging those breezes.
We always wanted this to be a home with soul, so designing spaces where a family could live together and interact was always part of the brief, and hopefully the design reflects this. We have tried to draw nature in as much as we can in the relatively dense urban environment of Singapore.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall
Park + Associates envisioned a two-story modern residence in Singapore entitled Mimosa Road, developed for a client wishing for a spacious layout and design. The client requested a double volume living space, four bedrooms and reuse of as much of the existing structure as possible. The concept and layout evolved and finalized over three meetings with the client, eventually resulting as a new build.
The site is rectangular and sits at the junction of 2 roads in an established housing estate in the northern part of Singapore. Over the site visit, we were enamored with the burnt orange brick walls of the existing house. These orange bricks wall thus formed the design parti of the house.
We consciously tried to create more visual links to the living space as this is the most often used portion of the house within this household. Hence the timber screen corridor with low level seats that line the 2nd storey of the living room and the internal balcony that overlooks the living space from the 2nd storey lounge area. Lastly, the master domain is perceived as a floating steel and glass box resting atop the solid mass of the house, overlooking the surrounding neighborhood.
In creating a dialogue between indoor and outdoor, all the living spaces on the ground floor are strongly grounded by its relationship to the outdoors. The mahjong room is complemented by a landscape deck w trees; the powder room has a view to a water feature; the living room is fronted by a lotus pond and the dining room is immediately adjacent to a breakfast deck.
One enters the house through a large pivot timber door into a single volume grey granite foyer, and through to the timber paneled double volume living space. The intention was to create not just a contrast in volume but also in materials.
P+A aimed to capture modern design through clean straight lines and massive forms compensated by meticulous and creative selection of materials to keep a warm rustic touch to the feel of the house. One of these materials is burnt orange brick that reconnects the history of the original house prominently having exposed bricks all throughout.
Photos: Edward Hendricks
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