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, â€œthe first floorâ€™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 childrenâ€™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 Singaporeâ€™s high-density urban environment.â€
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, â€œthe original living room measures only 6m by 3.4 m 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 itâ€™s 6 m 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 kidsâ€™ 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.â€ Via
Visit the website of Nota Design International pte Ltd here.
Photos: Â© 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
45 Faber Park by Ong & Ong Architects is located in the heart of Singapore. The clients for this project are a couple with three young children, a set of twins and a younger child, all under 10. Their main goal was to maximize outdoor space whilst not compromising living areas. It was therefore essential that there would be sufficient space for the children to play outdoors as well as indoors. The overall concept, derived from the clients’ requirements, was to create a living space open to the outdoors in a clean contemporary aesthetic.
In order to maximize space, the idea of pushing the mass of the 6, 372 square foot (592 square meters) building into the corner of the plot was developed. The concept of defining the bedroom areas and activity spaces as separate elements allowed for the final scheme to be reached. From the exterior, each element appears as a separate entity, however internally these have a strong connection to each other. Upon entrance to the home, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the sculptural staircase. Its organic form contrasts with the rigidity of the two main elements of the house.
The second storey of the house, represents a more private area, is cantilevered over the driveway. The cantilever gives the entrance to the house an enclosed, protected feel. The arrangement of spaces on the second floor is a functional response to the needs of the inhabitants. In response to this, the spaces created were introspective and focused on privacy. In order to create pleasant sleeping areas the height of the ceilings was set lower compared to the ceilings in the social areas. Leading from the quiet family room upstairs is a green roof which provides additional outdoor space. It is equipped with a BBQ pit that overlooks the pool beneath. This space represents an ideal entertaining area or a contemplation garden. Via
Visit the website of ONG & ONG Architects here.
Photos: Derek Swalwell, Tim Nolan
The sustainably designed 45 Faber Park completed by architecture firm ONG & ONG is located in Singapore. The clients for this project are a couple with three young children. Their main goal was to maximize outdoor space whilst not compromising living areas. It was therefore essential that there would be sufficient space for the children to play outdoors as well as indoors. The overall concept, derived from the clientsâ€™ requirements, was to create a living space open to the outdoors in a clean contemporary aesthetic.
The 6,372 square feet (592 square meters) building would need to allow for fluid movement between each space within and perform as a sustainable mechanism. In order to maximize space, the idea of pushing the mass of the building into the corner of the plot was developed. The concept of defining the bedroom areas and activity spaces as separate elements allowed for the final scheme to be reached. From the exterior, each element appears as a separate entity, however internally these have a strong connection to each other.
A colossal, spiral staircase greets one in the immaculate interior, forming the main focal point of the entire house. The staircase leads from the social spaces to the private spaces upstairs where there is a quiet family room which leads to a green roof terrace providing additional outdoor space. In line with the eco-theme, a skylight was constructed at the basement which enables natural sunlight to stream in. The client requested for as much greenery as possible, therefore, much of the landscape was left untouched except for a big lap pool with timber slabs on the sides functioning as the sun deck. Via
Visit the website of architecture firm ONG & ONG here.
Photos: Derek Swalwell, Tim Nolan
Architects ONG & ONG designed a 3,100 square-foot, contemporary interior renovation of a Heritage Art Deco Style terrace home in Singapore. The project was called 55 Blair Road, completed in 2009. The concept was to create an open floor plan that promotes harmony between the interior and exterior spaces. The wall-less design of the homeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interior enables cross-ventilation throughout the spaces, which is a very desirable element for SingaporeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extremely humid weather. The use of subtle hues and metallic elements balance each other to create a unifying theme throughout the house. Via
Visit the website of architects ONG & ONG here.
Natural light and ventilation is brought into the interiors through this large void that divides the two sections of the house. The pool was an addition to the floor plan of the home featuring a Century Frangipani tree which is native to Singapore, creating a peaceful, Zen environment.
A visually appealing feature to the master bedroom is that there is a large void that allows the homeowner a view down to the first floor.
The sculpted stone bathtub sits at the edge of the cantilevered box that overlooks the pool and garden below. The flooring is walnut planks, keeping with the heritage of the property.
The glass partition doors of the first floor remain open to allow one large living space to be created. Several concrete and wood platforms over the pool oasis allow continuity between the two spaces, the kitchen and the living areas. The kitchen section of the home is the service quarters, which also features a powder room, the maidsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ room and a roof terrace.
The 55 Blair Road terrace project was a renovation and restoration to a traditional art deco style shop house. The home was originally renovated 10 years ago but the new homeowner thought the house was too dark and requested that their be more natural light throughout the living spaces.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Elok House is an infusion of glass, concrete, steel and timber mixed with natural elements of trees and plants, the ingenious design of Chang Architects. This residence is the result of an owner’s dream, to live in a structure that emulates a natural forest within the forest urbanized city of Singapore. The home features interchangeable rooms that float within a larger volume of space. This mass volume of space fits within the confines of a terrace plot, with a two-story high retaining wall at the back of the home, which boasts a pebbled waterfall extending towards the sky. Below, there is a pond that envelopes the living area for rainwater collection. The design of natural daylighting, as well as abundant variated plant life and water elements, generates a cool dampness in the air, reducing the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting. Beautiful, green and less than a million dollars. Too good to be true? Via
Visit the website of Chang Architects here.
The living area showcases a two-story internal enclosure of fern walls.
The bedrooms feature moss pebble entrances.
Photos: Albert Lim KS