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
This spectacular luxury house at One Tree Hill has been designed by ONG&ONG to cater to the homeowner’s unique needs, situated in Singapore. The architectural layout includes a double volume space in the living area that opens out into a beautiful garden and water feature. This seamless blending of indoor and outdoor spaces is evident in other sections of the house as well, with the kitchen similarly looking out into a quaint outdoor lounge area.
The interior design finishes are restful, with contemporary furnishings adding a modern look to the space. On the upper floor are the master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and an additional guest room, both en-suite. Each room is covered in neutral tones for an added sense of serenity. In essence, this house’s interior design nicely complements its architectural features to create a warm and tasteful home that embrace features to create a warm and tasteful home that embraces the wonders of nature.
Photos: Courtesy of ONG&ONG
Travertine Dream House is a modern single family home that has been designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, situated in Serangoon, Singapore. The client, inspired by Italian urban-scape from his travels, requested maximizing functionality throughout the home including using up all available space in the design plan and the incorporation of greenery. Aesthetically, travertine was to be used copiously as an architectural finish.
Here is further information from the design team about the development of the project: The house is organized as two parallel blocks connected by a glass enclosed bridge. The separation between the two blocks allows daylight to stream down to basement spaces. Thick travertine walls and large overhangs are placed on the western side to limit heat gain from the harsh afternoon sun. The entry, living spaces and bedrooms are arranged longitudinally to take advantage of natural cross ventilation and daylight. In order to intensify land use without ending up with an imposing structure, the four storied house has one level sunk into the ground and the other three set away from the access road.
To accommodate as much green and ‘blue’ space as possible, the gardens and water bodies are spread throughout the house. The living and dining areas on the ground floor face a swimming pool and a fish pond. The basement’s entertainment and guest rooms are open to the sky, with natural light and ventilation coming through a sunken moss garden courtyard. The third storey flat roof is both a recreational deck and a roof garden.
The arrival experience is orchestrated by several layers of travertine wall that suggest a tenuous threshold between the outside and the inside. The detailing is deliberately minimal and precise to enhance the simplicity of the massing and the juxtaposition of solidity and transparency.
The narrow blocks that house the living area, the thick stone cladding, multiple levels of gardens and water bodies ensure that the house remains cool in the tropical environment, well ventilated and washed in soft daylight. The three dimensional composition of voids, layers and solids creates spaces for both quiet reflection and family interaction, something for each mood and moment.
Photos: Jeremy San
JKC2 house has been designed by architecture firm ONG&ONG, comprised of three volumes positioned around a central courtyard interacting together to be viewed as an independent entity in Singapore. The home’s interiors and outdoor areas are configured with flexibility of space in mind so that the house can be adapted to suit a broad spectrum of homeowners.
A balance is struck between the man-made spaces and the natural ones, with the building formed from basic elemental shapes with raw-finished materials, such as fair-faced concrete, stone, mild steel, tropical wood and clear glass. The dialogue between the components of this palette reflects a sense of warmth and immediacy with nature.
Photos: Aaron Pocock
The Brick Loft House was once a dingy looking office unit that received a complete overhaul by architecture firm FARM, situated in Joo Chiat Ln, Singapore. The new owners saw the potential of this apartment and so did the architects. Situated on the second storey of a shophouse unit in the charming JooChiat area, the architects wanted to reinvent, with a localized design language, the concept of a chic industrial loft.
From the onset, we knew the importance of bringing light and the sense of lightness to the space within. The apartment has to feel as if it’s suffused with light. To do that, walls were knocked down to create an outdoor verandah area upon entry. Huge timber framed glass sliding doors are used to further increase light porosity. Generous amount of louvres are used at the rooftop to bring in more light to the mezzanine bedroom.
The feel of the industrial is brought out through the sensitive use of building materials and the reinvention of their vocabulary and usage. Taking a cue from concrete ventilation blocks found in old houses, we updated the look with a new custom-made pattern. This pattern is then abstracted and transformed again and brought into the living area via a laser-cut metal screen folding door.
The old plaster of the house was also peeled off to reveal bricks in their original gritty but charming condition. What are ‘industrial lofts’ without some bricks eh? Then using the idea of these bricks as basic building blocks, we created continuous wall shelving with a similar structure and framing. The key unmissable feature in the apartment is the spiral staircase constructed entirely out of metal, spray-painted all glossy white, and with its balustrade in the dangerously-sexy form of a curving brick wall.
Photos: Jeremy San TzerNing