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
The Wall House was designed by FARM architects as two separate volumes that have been connected through a central courtyard in Singapore. The project is a tale of two houses – similar looking, yet independent and coming together to form a coherent whole. The two blocks sit on a sprawling piece of land, belonging respectively to the retired parents and one of their children.
This separation of the house into two blocks, in part a response to the sheer scale of the land, is also a requirement brief given by the clients. Programmatically, it consists of a two-storey block with the main living and master bedroom area, and a single-storey block housing the entertainment areas of the house.
What links these two volumes together is the huge central courtyard at the entrance expressed in an austere geometry of granite floor and wall, an organically shaped oculus and a minimalist planting of six willowy trees. Like a sparse yet artful Chinese landscape painting, this sets the tone for the rest of the spaces.
The landscape design, similar to the house, is also experienced in multiple correlated layers. It takes its inspiration from the philosophy of classical Chinese Garden where views are borrowed through cutouts and vistas, and where sight lines and spaces begin to overlap.
Photos: Bryan van der Beek and Edward Hendricks
Sunset Residence is a private family home situated in a secluded cul-de-sac in the fashionable area of Bukit Timah in Singapore, designed by Topos Design Studio. The residence is a beautiful and understated piece of bespoke and holistic architectural design. The modest entrance facade gently invites you through into a stunning pool area which reveals the U-shaped plan of this 6,350 square foot (590 square meters) building. This form allows for seclusion as well as views of the pool area from virtually every room in the house as well as fantastic ventilation through full height sliding louver and glass doors. This is helped by the orientation of residence to make full use of the day and night prevailing breeze.
The simple no fuss architectural language of the house is further accentuated by a 4 tone color palette to not only highlight the form, but also to allow the client’s stunning pieces of furniture to take center stage. This unpretentious approach in keeping to the natural and simplistic setting of the built environment led to a refined and elegant feel to the spaces, worthy of the esteemed client.
The quality of light and the form on the interior spaces were key to the design which is evident from the generously proportioned lounge and the double height dining area of the first floor. These grand rooms offer fantastic spaces for the family to congregate and enjoy time together.
The second floor of the property is dedicated to the private realms of the users and a relaxing alternative lounge away from the main family area. A comprehensive aluminum louver system, across this floor, aids in sun shading, so as to minimize air-con usages well as to offer exclusive and spiritual privacy against the surrounding properties.
Some Materials and Finishes used for the Surfaces, Partitions, Floorings, Walls:
1. BiancoCarraraand Molton Brown Marble for Living, Dining, Dry Kitchen floor.
2. Bush hammered and flamed Kur Grey Granite for all outdoors and external walls.
3. Blue turquoise mosaic for the pool and Burmese Teak Timber flooring for all bedrooms and common corridors.
4. Calacatta Oro and Breccia Paradiso Marble for all the bathrooms. Various vinyl backed Essex Singapore Wall paper for all the bedrooms and common areas.
5. Duravit, Hansgrohe and GerebitSanitary Wares and system
6. Jung EIB Switch Systems
7. Ferro Aluminum Sun shading and Window System
8. Hunter Douglas Mechanical Sun shading Blinds
9. RIMADESIO Velaria Glass Sliding Partition Door System supplied By Vivo Systems Singapore
10. Ironmongeries by Dorma Systems andHewi180 Series (Door Handles)
Summarised Design Concept
1. Proportioned, Timeless, Tailored Elegance
Photos: Derek Swalwell
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.