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The Nautilus Series I have taken my cue from one of Nature’s most enduring forms. The Nautilus has been in existence for million of years, yet she remains relatively unchanged throughout time. The Nautilus not only served as my primary inspiration, but also encapsulates and represents the convergence of my key interests in Architecture: Design, Sustainability and History. In the Nautilus, Nature has presented her design in a formula. Her shell is one of the finest natural examples of a logarithmic spiral. The unique mathematical property of the spiral is that while its size increases, its shape is unaltered with each successive curve. Deconstructing the Nautilus shell along the lines of spatial dimension reveals three analogous yet distinctive facets, her septum (the curved line), her hemishell (the cross-section), and her three-dimensional form. With the essence of the Nautilus being the unifying thread, they motivated varied designs, each of a specific function. Author’s Residence I believe Mid-Century Modern design- its organic and functional formembodies good design. Mid-Century Modern homes are characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature, traits uncommon but much needed for the urbanized and space-scarce city of Singapore. Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts To me, drawing is more than just about rendering images on paper. It represents a personal journey of rediscovery and reawakening. A leaving behind of the past, and a courageous leap into the future.

*Images of the Nautilus are from rights-free online sources.

Contents The Nautilus Series : Part I furnituredesign - The Palm Chair

lightingdesign – The Spiral

architecturaldesign – The Nautilus House Author’s residence : Part II interiordesign – Neptune Court Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts : Part III pensketches – Reminiscences of a Singaporean

charcoaldrawings – Beginnings, with an ancient medium


The Palm Chair

orthographic projections

From a single piece of wood

Inspiration The curve line of the septum, the thin wall between the internal chambers of the Nautilus shell. Motivation I want to create a one-piece plywood chair with minimum wastage using wood molding techniques. My aim is to create an affordable, sustainable chair with organically shaped surfaces that can be mass-produced. The answer takes its form in a Nautilus septum-shaped chair, fashioned into a palm that effortlessly embraces the user. Media Hand-built 1: 5 scale model using walnut veneer, mounting board, lacquer and glue. Hand-drawn technical drawing with Rotring pen Photos with Canon IXUS digital camera, Adobe Photoshop

unmolded profile


The Spiral

A Fluorescent Chandelier

Inspiration The cross section of the Nautilus shell: her hemishell. Motivation Fluorescent tubes are recognized for their energy efficiency and low-running costs but their gangly and uncompromising shape has limited their use in modern design. I believe I could harness and demonstrate the design potential of the fluorescent light in a fluid and succinct concept. The lights, when viewed from under the chandelier, take the shape of the Nautilus hemishell. Media Sketchup, V-ray, Layout, Adobe Photoshop





The Nautilus House

Mathematical expression of an organic form

Inspiration Is the Nautilus shell cutting into itself or growing from within? At first glance, it seems to be doing both. Like most of Nature’s creations, the Nautilus is at once simple and complex. It is mysterious, yet inviting; it is contradictory yet straightforward. Beneath it all is an intuitive precision waiting to unfold. Motivation The Nautilus shell’s spiral can be expressed mathematically in a formula. The anatomy of the building seeks to do the same. The roofs, whose curves look varied and random, are actually identical. Their curves are essentially made of quarter circles of the same radius. The different levels at which the roofs are bent creates the illusion that they are different and arbitrary. The pillars are spaced at a logarithmic scale, taking its cue from the Nautilus’ formula. Media Sketchup, Layout, Adobe Photoshop

rear - aerial view

front - aerial view

rear - ground perspective

front - ground perspective


Neptune Court

Mid-Century, Modern Living Inspiration Mid-Century Modern homes Motivation Designing my own home allows me to actualize my creative aspirations and also live with the practical consequences of my choices. In this project, I took complete charge of the layout and design, electrical plans, material choices, lighting, furniture and art selection. I wanted to create flowing open spaces with consistent styling to showcase the beauty of mid-century pieces and art, as well as emphasize the ocean views, accessible from every room. I collaborated with Museum ID, a local interior design firm, that acted as the liaison to the contractors. The result is an airy and timeless interior with the ability to bring the outdoors in. Media Actual renovation of a 1600 sq ft apartment that took 4 months from conceptualization to completion, costing $200k, excluding furnishings. *Photos courtesy of Edward Hendricks


Reminiscences of a Singaporean Inspiration Historical buildings of architectural significance in Singapore. Motivation In a fast-paced, global city-state such as Singapore, old buildings are torn down and new ones created in a matter of months. There is often no time or place for sentiment, for memories, for history. I hope to capture snapshots of the old and the treasured amidst the change. I want to present my city through my eyes. Media Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, Copic Marker

Left – back alley of shophouse in Tanjong Pagar Right – Old Supreme Court Building


Beginnings, with an ancient medium

Inspiration A return to a childhood love, using the oldest artistic medium, charcoal.

Motivation In the last three months, I have left behind a familiar, yet uninspiring career path. In drawing, however intangible or subjective the process may be, I have found myself again.

Media Willow Charcoal, Compressed Charcoal.

Design Portfolio - Christian Lam  
Design Portfolio - Christian Lam  

Portfolio for Master of Architecture application (Fall 2012) No background in art, design, nor architecture. Put together in 2 months, incl...