The finely detailed screens of No.19 Jalan Angin Laut presents a sleek facade to its neighbors, concealing a house nestled into a garden in Singapore, designed by HYLA Architects. Its entrance is elevated above the ground, where one has to ascend a glass staircase to enter the house. Opening the solid timber front door, one is greeted with a swimming pool and patio surrounded by lush greenery, amply shaded overhead but admitting light and air from the sides, this space is a paradigm of living comfortably in the tropics.
A glass bridge spanning lightly across the pool leads into the living room. This bridge extends the threshold of the house, prolonging the act of entering and highlighting the importance of this space to the overall design of the house. The rest of the house takes its cues from this scene, the main living spaces being punctuated with light, greenery and timber accents. Together with the skillful manipulation of solids and voids, the overall effect achieved is that the architecture seems integrated harmoniously with nature.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Terrace House is a stylish contemporary home that has been designed by Architology, situated in Jalan Chempedak, Singapore. The interiors showcases sleek interiors, including concrete flooring and wood flooring. A green wall in the kitchen breakfast nook includes a skylight overhead and accent lights to illuminate creating a focal point, which adds a Zen feeling to the space. There are plenty of built-ins for storage and an exposed brick wall in the open plan living area, white walls and white lacquered cabinetry in the kitchen. The kitchen island is perfect for cooking and entertaining, complete with bar stools. The master bedroom retreat features an incredible spa-like bathroom.
Photos: Courtesy of Architology
Centennial Tree House is an exciting contemporary home designed by architecture firm Wallflower Architecture + Design featuring a central courtyard which brings in plenty of light and air, situated in East Coast Parkway, Singapore. The owner’s request of their ideal home was to create external blank walls with fixed screens and a center courtyard, creating a protective enclosure of solitude. This protective barrier creates positive energy for the homeowners who thrive on self-reflection and contemplation. This strength is visually given expression by a hundred year old frangipani tree literally found within, centered in a large grassed courtyard surrounded with water. The tree was given a new lease of life having been rescued from a Holland Road site slated for new development.
True to the owners’ requirements, the facade is entirely sealed off in most areas, and veiled by fixed timber screening in others. The purity of intention to internalize results in a purity of architectural elevation on three sides; there is no yard, opening, back of house, but a pebbled path between a rhythmic timber screen and a lush wall of polyalthias. Visually, the aesthetics exclude both physically and psychologically, but the timber screens along the periphery of the 1st storey allow breezes to comb through, refreshing the sheltered corridors and living spaces.
The central court encourages this, acting as both a light and air well. Throughout the day as the environment changes, the breezes shift, the house breathes. The only area where the timber screens can be opened is between the second storey master bedroom and the court. Motors silently fold the screens away, linking the court to the bedroom.
The central air and light well is key to the experience and enjoyment of the house through the day as the light shifts, different walls, passages, are literally seen in a different light, or shade or shadow. The centennial tree awakes, basks, and rests; and the surrounding spaces share that experience. The aesthetic encounter is intensified perhaps because there are no distractions from the world outside; Even the world outside is acquired as the sky above is framed by the court and forms part of the spatial composition. The elemental reduction of sky above, water surrounding an island of grass below, all axially centered by the stolid tree distils for the owners what life can and should be; a re-focus on the basics being pure, simple, and celebrated.
Photos: Albert Lim
Y-House is a contemporary three story single family semi-detached residence designed by architecture firm ONG&ONG Pte Ltd in Singapore. Two levels are apparent from the exterior facade, but the staircase shows that from the ground level there is a basement level below grade. The lower level features the main living areas with full height glass windows along the back of the home opening up to an outdoor terrace. A floating staircase leads to the upper level which hosts the private spaces of a master bedroom retreat, zen bathroom with walk-in shower, as well as office space and an upper loft/attic bedroom area. The furnishings and decor are modern, clean lines with all the luxury amenities for practical everyday living.
Photos: Aaron Pocock
This haven, nestled in the lush greenery of Bukit Timah Road, Singapore captures the ingenious display of mankind’s modern existence with the natural environment in perfect harmony. Designed by architecture firm ONG&ONG Pte Ltd., this home provides the ideal balance between the needs for family bonding as well as for personal space.
The house’s design takes full advantage of the native tropical environment, and the building’s shape as well as its placement were carefully planned so as not to dwarf the site’s rich, natural space. Basic elemental forms were used – namely, a cube and rectangle block comprise the stacked volumes of this house – and with no shortage of sunlight in the Singapore climate, the structure’s open layout is ideal for natural lighting and cross-ventilation.
Sunlight enters from all sides of the house, providing illumination during the day whilst also keeping the interiors warm during cooler weather. To battle the heat, one can have a dip in the edgeless pool encircling the home, while natural wind also circulates within the building to bring down the temperature. The second level is also cantilevered, providing shade to areas on the ground floor.
Within the house, communal areas are spacious, with a double-volume void over the living area seamlessly unifying the two levels as a collective whole. This facilitates interaction between the close-knit family as communication across the house can be direct and intimate.
The selection of materials used in various sections of the house was cost-effective, with an emphasis on high-grade quality without being excessively extravagant. A Classic Modernist style was adopted through the use of fare-faced concrete and timber planks for the walls as well as teak for some of the flooring and underside of the roof. The designers also attempted to revive the terrazzo tradition, once popular in the region, by applying the composite of white cement on polished marble chips to areas such as the living room, giving its floor a seamlessly sophisticated finish.
In the bathrooms, Ardex was employed in creating a raw-looking finish for the walls, which provide an interesting and striking contrast against a single feature wall that is encased in dark marble.
Even though space is abundant in this house, it is still able to accommodate numerous bedrooms for the many family members, with four on the second floor as well as a guestroom and maid’s quarters on the ground floor. Lourves lining the sides of the upper floor provide the choice of either opening up the floor to take in the surrounding views, or keeping the bedrooms hidden for privacy.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Sentosa Cove House is the ultimate beachfront property, designed by WOW Architecture, the home is situated on Sentosa Island, at the southernmost part of Singapore. The house’s unique location provides it with an unobstructed view of the ocean all around and is marked by the light beacon ‘Sentosa FI.R.2S3m’ immediately in front of the house in the ocean.
Here is a project description from the architects, “Conceived as a framed portal cantilevered over an open living, dining, pool and garden area, the house structure shades the pool terrace such that it is never exposed to direct sunlight. An aluminum trellis screen wraps around the frame, screening east- and west-facing walls from the intense heat of the sun as well as ensuring privacy from neighbors.
To minimize heat gain, the south-facing facade was designed to keep the house cool with the use of low-emissions glass and also to ensure resistance to gale force winds. A reflective surface on the bedroom level adds privacy. In all instances of glass usage, special attention was paid to its performance data to ensure absence of the greenhouse effect.”
To the north, the onyx facade facing the road is designed to be a lantern at night, and as a beacon marking the home, mirroring the light beacon nearby in the ocean. The facade is constructed with a stainless steel frame curtain wall with 5 mm onyx laminated with tempered glass.
Every room in the house enjoys a direct relationship with the oceanfront proximity. The kitchen and dining room can be combined to maximize family interaction, and to allow the kitchen to remain connected to the pool and the ocean view.
Beneath the curve of the attic roof, inspired by the graceful geometry of the stingray, are a study and a sitting room, oriented south with a 180-degree ocean view. A full-length timber deck flanks the southern end of the attic, cantilevered over the swimming pool and evocative of the experience of being on the deck of a ship.
Shophouse at 18 Everitt Road was designed by Matthew Lai of Studio XMSL in Singapore. The home was designed to be long and narrow, absent of an internal courtyard, which varies greatly from the typical light flooded and well-ventilated shophouses seen in Asian lifestyle magazines. The architect decided to not bring in additional natural light, instead express these dimly lit areas by enveloping them in black while contrasting them with the well-lit areas, finished in pure white. “As a result, the dining on the 1st storey and the study cum lounge on the 2nd storey are enveloped in black while the living and kitchen on the 1st storey and the rooms on the 2nd storey are crafted into a pristine pure white shell.”
Here is a description of the project from the architect, “This zoned approach created a rich variety of spaces that can be experienced in the numerous dramatic transitions around this unique shophouse. The play of light and dark spaces, black and white colours were the primary elements we were working with on a schematic level. The private spaces on the 2nd storey begin to see an introduction of a greater amount of warmer materials and textures to balance out an excessive play of black and white.
The distinct dialogue between black and white was further developed alongside the client’s intention to express themselves with a unique dialectic between modernity and antiquity. The furniture, accessories and artifacts selected mirror this contrast. A fine example of such sits in the living: a chesterfield in authentic old English black leather sits facing a clean line modern sofa upholstered in contemporary fabrics. Traces of ‘old school’ and ‘vintage’ add personality to the stark and dramatic spaces. Personality and situation conceives this completely unique shophouse.”
Visit the website of Studio XMSLhere.
The JKC1 House is a family home designed by Singapore-based architectural firm ONG & ONG located in Bukit Timah, Singapore. The house sits on a slight incline overlooking a pool in the front yard, following the feng shui belief of balancing the mountain and water elements. Here is a description from the architects, “the first floor’s living and dining area is a vast and continuous space providing unobstructed views of the pool and front lawn. The generously proportioned kitchen with laundry area is located to the back of the house together with the garage. A centralized, combination staircase leads up into the open courtyard directly above the kitchen. To the left, is the master suite with bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom, while the children’s bedrooms and adjoining playroom occupy the opposite side. In the middle, a multi-purpose family area takes up the front section, while the back area houses an additional room. From the courtyard, a spiral staircase ascends onto the terrace that can serve as a BBQ or entertainment area where guests can take in the beautiful views of the surrounding greenery. Generous use of space is what distinguishes this house from others, making it a welcome relief from Singapore’s high-density urban environment.”
Visit the website of ONG & ONG here.
House at Hillside is a half a century old single storey terrace with an attic on a narrow site in Singapore. Designed by Nota Design International pte Ltd, the family home was renovated with the decision to preserve the existing 1,582 square foot (147 square meters) structure. There were three main criteria to the project; the retrofitting had to be cost effective, sustainable and a symbiosis of Art and Design.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “the original living room measures only 6 meters by 3.4 meters and divided by old masonry walls on both ends and worsen by a low flat ceiling which makes the space incredibly small. The front and rear walls of the living room were demolished. In their places were two sets of new full-height timber-framed clear glass pivot panels. This allows good cross ventilation across the length of the house when doors are opened.
Flat ceiling was also removed to expose the huge space under the high pitch roof. High ceiling keeps the habitable space cooler especially when it’s 6 meters at its highest. A second wall fronting the original living room wall was also demolished to create the new L- shaped Patio. The two bedrooms were retained with some modifications. A doorway was introduced between the two bedrooms to allow direct access to the front kids’ room. The small window in the master bedroom fronting the air well is transformed into a large doorway to allow occupant to enjoy natural air and greenery from the bed day and night. The locations of the kitchen, storeroom, attic space and the two bathrooms were left unchanged with much cosmetic modification” Via
Visit the website of Nota Design International pte Ltd here.
Photos: Nota Design International pte Ltd
Tucked away in a corner off the main road, surrounded by lush greenery, sits this top storey corner apartment designed by architects Juliana & Tristan in Brookvale Park, Singapore. The slanted roof, covered by a false ceiling, and diffused sunlight through the side skylight gently illuminating the interior was what existed prior to the renovation of the 1,614 square foot (150 square meters) apartment. From the architects: “The entire original ceiling was removed and a series of solid timber rafters, concealed and darkened over the years, was revealed. Lush greenery, now framed by newly installed unadorned steel framed glass windows, provides the necessary cross ventilation that every tropical home should embrace.
Cool grey stones greet the visitor as one steps into the living room and a built in book case meets the eye. A long bench which functions as the main settee is integrated with a series of steps, serving to transit from the stone floor to the timber boards on the split upper level of the unit. The open kitchen now serves as the new back drop of the public domain.
The new master suite takes over the entire rear portion, occupying what was once two guest bedrooms, a kitchen and a service bath. The collective space was given a complete overhaul, exposing the original roof rafters and creating an uninterrupted flow from the intimate bed space to the striking, opened bathroom.
The original master bedroom now functions as a study. The wall separating the study and living room was removed as much as possible, allowing one to peer into either space through the voids of the book case. The interplay of volumes within the apartment, brought about by the combination of the pitched roof, raised platforms and torn down walls reveal a strong yet flexible hierarchy of space that was intuitively understood and celebrated through the use of materials and careful detailing. The resultant space is one that has been crafted and honed to meet the refined sensibilities of modern life.” Via