Location: Bukit Timah, Singapore
Type: Residential – Houses
Site Area: 396m2
Gross Area: 463 m2
Architects: Wallflower Architecture + Design – www.wallflower.com.sg
Design Team: Robin Tan, Cecil Chee, Sean Zheng, Shirley Tan & Eileen Kok
Photographs: Marc Tey
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 façade of operable glass doors and windows, a veil of operable vertical timber louvers punctuated by clear glass bay windows, horizontal aluminium 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 neighbours 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.