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DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE

H O N G K O N G

H K D 9 0

A U S T R A L I A

/ WWW.DESIGNANDARCHITECTURE.COM / / ISSUE 105. 2018 • S$8 /

S I N G A P O R E

$ 8

M A L A Y S I A

R M 1 8

IDEAS LAB X+LIVING

STRAITS CLAN

TAKENOUCHI WEBB

THE DATAI LANGKAWI DL2A

ROOM WITHOUT ROOF HYLA ARCHITECTS

TECHNOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE

TIME TO PLAY CATCH UP


/ SPECIAL REPORT /

SPEAKER

TOBIAS SCHLITZER

Greening The Equator

International Key-Account Manager KNX / Smarthome JUNG

A TALK ORGANISED IN SINGAPORE BY JUNG SAW THE DESIGN COMMUNITY GATHER TO DISCUSS HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS IN THE TROPICS.

TROPICAL HIGH-RISES – ARCHITECTURAL ADVANCEMENTS AND CHALLENGES Where: Singapore When: 29 June 2018

10 metres. That is the minimum height that a high-rise should be clad in green infrastructure

to

reduce

noise

and

dust pollution.

MODERATOR

This is a significant figure offered by Rudi

Scheuermann,

Building

Envelope

Global Design

Head from

PETER CACHOLA SCHMAL

of

Director

ARUP,

DAM Frankfurt (German Architecture Museum)

when he delivered a presentation at the JUNG Architecture Talk in Singapore in June this year. Centred on the theme of “Tropical HighRises – Architectural advancements and

driver of our health and [helps to reduce]

world – such as new ecology, connectivity

challenges”, it featured five speakers sharing

energy consumption.”

and urbanisation – and their impact on

their insights on the topic, moderated

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modern building automation.

by Peter Cachola Schmal, director of the

Scheuermann also led a study that includes

renowned DAM Frankfurt museum.

another useful figure: 20/20. “If we put

Of particular interest to him was simplicity,

green on 20 percent of the buildings in the

“The amount of information provided to

Scheuermann’s statistic is the result of a

street – that is every fifth building – and on

us is exponential. We are overloaded, we

study ARUP did when it wrapped an entire

20 percent of the total building area that we

desperately desire simple solutions.”

building in plants, versus just the lower 10m.

are building, we will equalise the footprint

The result was the same.

that we’ve built on.”

This

means

that

whatever

requirements

that

society

increased decides

it

“Where we can, we put green infrastructure

Lending a more macro perspective was

needs, must not overwhelm the end-user.

on the ground. Where we can’t, we put it

Tobias Schlitzer, International Key-Account

“We should use appropriate, well-known

on the building envelope. We have to

Manager KNX / Smarthome at JUNG. He

concepts and combine them with new

include it in the city because that is the

highlighted the megatrends sweeping the

functionalities,” he emphasised.


SPEAKER

RUDI SCHEUERMANN Global Head of Building Envelope Design

SPEAKER

ARUP

RICHARD HASSELL Co-founder WOHA Architects

WELCOME SPEECH

SPEAKER

FONG CHUN WAH

PETER IPPOLITO

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Building)

Managing Partner

Housing Development Board of Singapore

Ippolito Fleitz Group

Schlitzer draws the example of how at JUNG,

(HDB). Present to provide an update of its

Tengah is a “forest town” that will be

it has created light switches now that not

activities was its Deputy Chief Executive

launched in phases starting from the end

only control the brightness of a room, but

Officer (Building) Fong Chun Wah.

of 2018. “It will be a living lab with biophilic

also set the mood, such as by playing the respective music.

elements. Its planning and design will have Fong revealed how HDB had undergone an

gardens, plantations, farm ways and lawns.”

aggressive building and construction period “There are many megatrends that will

between 2011 and 2017, launching 150,000

Industry players aside, two architects were

increase the demand of building technology

units into the market.

also part of the speaker line-up, sharing

should be the centre of gravity. We must

He also highlighted the green features in

in Asia.

develop solutions according to their needs.”

the newer and soon-to-launch towns. For

but we shouldn’t forget that users of these

their experiences in designing high-rises

instance, Punggol is Singapore’s first eco-

Peter Ippolito is the Managing Partner of

In Singapore, no organisation is more

town. “It has solar panels on the rooftop and

the Germany-headquartered Ippolito Fleitz

familiar with the concept of tropical high-

water sensitive urban design since it is next

Group that has a substantial portfolio in

rises than the Housing Development Board

to a waterway,” he said.

Europe and China, while Richard Hassell

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/ SPECIAL REPORT /

is the Co-founder of WOHA Architects, which prides itself on being specialists in green architecture. “We try to make projects relevant for our clients. It must be something that moves and touches them. This means the spaces become a series of experiences,” said Ippolito, of the guiding force behind his designs. He

illustrated

this

through

pair

of

showflats in the high-rise residential project CEG Schwarzwald in Shanghai. One is named “Shades of Grey” and the other is “Chromatic Spaces”, contrasting starkly against each other. But what unifies them is their location in a neighbourhood planted with 20,000 trees (Schwarzwald is the German name of the Black Forest). To leverage this, Ippolito retained the floor-to-ceiling windows that permit the connection to the views of nature just beyond the development’s doorstep. He also shared his opinion on where the future of residential interior design is headed for, “People want to replicate their experiences from the hotels they have

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travelled to. Increasingly, we find ourselves

hotel, public housing SkyVille@Dawson and

more than just designers but also stylists,

Oasia Hotel Downtown.

creating a living atmosphere for our client though choosing the art, linens etc.”

“Mega cities need to make the leap into the 21st century from the 20th

WOHA Architects is a well-known firm in this

century. It’s about merging the idea of the

part of the world. Among the projects is it

Metabolism movement with the garden

famous for include Parkroyal on Pickering

city,” said Hassell, referencing the need to


introduce a more natural way of living into urban areas, particularly those with high population densities.

ABOUT JUNG ARCHITECTURE TALKS In 2006, switches and systems company JUNG hosted its first Architecture Talk.

He dwelt specifically on Oasia, which has

Centred around a theme, it comprises

just been named the Best Tall Building

experts discussing and debating their

Worldwide by the Council on Tall Buildings

viewpoint in a convivial setting. Twelve

and Urban Habitat. Wrapping the 27-storey

years later, the event has become a fixture

high-rise is a red mesh that allows plants

on the German architectural calendar,

to grow on it, helping it stand out from the

expanding also to Luxembourg, Austria

surrounding skyscrapers.

and Switzerland.

“With Oasia, we were able to push the

This year, JUNG decided to bring the

boundaries and have a green plot ratio

Architecture Talks outside of Europe,

of 1,100 percent – this is the highest

making

we’ve ever had in any of our projects,”

recognition of its office there being

pointed out Hassell.

the first in Asia. It also plans to hold an

Singapore

its

first

stop,

in

unprecedented 10 sessions in 2018, Achieving milestones like this seem rare

including in Vienna, Zurich and Stuttgart.

at the moment. However, if the community works together – and that is everyone from

More than just a lecture series, these Talks

the architects to the developers, engineers

are also an opportunity for networking

and policymakers – it could be de rigueur.

and building connections for participants and speakers alike – something that it

As ARUP’s Scheuermann said, we just need

feels is very important given the digital

to start with greening the first 10m of any

age we live in.

building we design. Surely that isn’t too hard, is it?

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/ FEATURE /

/ WORDS JULIA YEE

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY This year marks many momentous milestones in design history. We celebrate the timeless artistry of some of the industry’s biggest brands.

AGE:

270

YEARS

VILLEROY & BOCH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: FRANCE

Throughout its 270 years of existence, Villeroy & Boch has provided homeowners with the necessary innovations for better living. Priding itself on the ability to bring together both classic and contemporary elements in its works, this brand started out as a family business – a ceramic crockery manufacturer run by Audunle-Tiche and his three sons. Its subsequent cutting-edge machinery further pushed Villeroy & Boch into the forefront of industrial production. In 1999, the brand was credited for the discovery

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and unique casting method of Quaryl, a material that gifted its products with the comfort and durability that Villeroy & Boch is known for. But its success did not stall there – the company recently introduced its ingenuous DirectFlush WCs that enables users to maintain the highest standards of hygiene in their bathroom, as well as the TitanCeram, a high-quality ceramic material that lends the brand’s designs their delicate forms and longlasting quality.


AGE:

201

YEARS

DURAVIT COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: GERMANY

Duravit is celebrating two centuries of being the leading global manufacturer of designer bathrooms. Founded in the Black Forest in 1817 by Georg Friedrich Horn, the company has widened to include the production of sanitary ware. Right from the start, quality and precision were the cornerstones of Duravit’s success, and it has played a major role in making bathrooms a statement piece in homes. The brand currently produces ceramics, furniture, wellness

technologies, tap fittings and accessories. In line with its significant milestone this year, the brand is releasing its new Vero Air washbasin under the DuraSquare collection. Truly an architectural wonder, the hand rinse and above-counter basins are built with precise linear structures, their smooth inner surface juxtaposed against its geometrical form. The rim’s thinness further serves to give your bathroom that contemporary beauty. With exquisite craftsmanship and skilled use of technology, Duravit continues its legacy with this minimalistic collection.

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/ FEATURE /

AGE:

145

YEARS

KOHLER COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UNITED STATES

Kohler is a global organisation that formed a subset of the Kohler Co. Kitchen & Bath Group, founded in 1873 and named after by John Michael Kohler. Currently, the company has its footprint in more than 50 locations worldwide. Recognised as one of the greatest producers of luxury bathroom and kitchen products, it counts a wide array of toilets, showerheads and washbasins as classics in its catalogue. Despite its age, this innovative brand never fails to get bigger and better with each passing year. Its new patented Physical Vapor

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Deposition (PVD) once again begs the question if the magic behind Kohler’s amazing faucet finishing is more art or science. Manufactured with environmentally-friendly methods, no water is wasted, nor are any harmful chemicals used. Its intricate processing system is further proof of Kohler’s world-class quality and standard. With it, you can create a lasting finish that will withstand the test of time, keeping your bathroom perpetually polished and vibrant.

AGE:

120

YEARS

GIORGETTI COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: ITALY

Back in 1898, a humble cabinet-making workshop in Brianza started out making elegant wood furniture. 120 years later, it has transformed into one of the most respected brands in Italian design. Its logo’s evolution marks Giorgetti’s breath-taking transformation, with its new interlocking circle and tangent pictogram, drawing inspiration from the brand’s iconic Progetti armchair. In commemoration of more than a century of spearheading furniture design, the book Object to Project. Giorgetti design since 1898, published by Electa and curated by Francesca Molteni and

Cristiana Colli, reminisces the company’s inspiring growth from a small initiative to the formidable powerhouse of innovation and design that it is today. The anniversary collector’s item, Cabinet of Memories by Chi Wing Lo, reflects an exquisite treasure trove. The maple blend of light and dark wood finishes symbolises a breath-taking narration of the past, present and future craftsmanship and innovative technology of Giorgetti, reinforcing the timeless beauty inherent in all its products.


AGE:

105

YEARS AGE:

105

YEARS

FORMICA COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UNITED STATES

Formica approaches each product with the customer’s needs in mind. Abiding by its philosophy of making top quality surfaces affordable for all, this brand is hailed for its creative options that can fit any budget. First established as Formic Products Company in 1913, the company went on to produce Formica Laminate – a vibrant, strong and cigarette-proof interior used by many reputable cafes, nightclubs, and even railway cars and luxury ocean liners like the RMS Queen Mary. In changing with the times, the brand has

taken a front seat in modern lifestyle design and plays a significant role in maintaining a greener environment by using sustainable and innovative materials. Now, Formica Laminate is widely known for its winning designs including Infiniti, a gentle, matte finish with fingerprint resisting and thermal healing qualities, as well as 180FX, a durable, granite-patterned surface that gives a sleek and sophisticated ambience to any modern living space.

V-ZUG COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: SWITZERLAND

Nestled in the heart of Europe, V-ZUG is its home country’s leading brand in high-end household appliances. This manufacturer specialises in solutions for different lifestyles, recognised for its signature Swiss precision, quality and reliability. The perfect source for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life, V-ZUG is perhaps best known for its efficient heat pump technology in the Adora SL WP dishwasher – one of the many appliances

endorsed by top chefs like Ryan Clift from Tippling Club and Andreas Caminada of Schauenstein Schloss Restaurant. In addition, the company has always been conscious of protecting the Earth. By 2020, it aims to make its Zug production facility carbon-neutral, and the ZUGgate logistics centre is now the largest photovoltaic plant in the Swiss canton. In Singapore, the flagship store ZUGORAMA will open this October and occupy more than 4,000ft2 of space on the third storey of Scotts Square.

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/ MIXED-USE /

/ WORDS REBECCA LO

OUT OF THE BOX BĂźro Ole Scheeren reinterprets the auction house for Guardian Art Center in Beijing with a contemplative structure that references its modest and majestic surrounds.

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/ PHOTOGRAPHY IWAN BAAN | SHUHE / COURTESY BÜRO OLE SCHEEREN

T

he auction house has played an important role in civilisations. It allows a wide audience to obtain culturally significant goods transparently, at market prices. Established in 1993 at a time when the Middle Kingdom was opening its doors, China Guardian is as an auction house specialising in Chinese art and antiques. A quarter of a century on, it has just unveiled its new Beijing headquarters, Guardian Art Center, designed by architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren. No stranger to building in the Chinese capital, the German architect previously worked on the CCTV headquarters – affectionately nicknamed

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/ MIXED-USE /

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“big pants” – with Rem Koolhaas prior to founding his eponymous studio. Yet, despite being a monument in its own right, the Center is a completely different animal: it strives to be a hybrid of art and trade, while addressing the contemporary needs of the public that it aims to service.

THE CAPITAL’S CROSSROADS Sited two blocks west of the Forbidden City on Beijing’s premier shopping avenue Wangfujing Street, Guardian Art Center is strategically situated at the nexus of culture and commerce. Scheeren looked to the scale and material of nearby hutongs for the pedestrian level lower half of the façade’s grey basalt. Punctured by thousands of circular

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lenses, the stone’s backlit perforations combine to form an abstract edition of the famed landscape painting Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains when viewed from a distance. In contrast, the upper level consists of glass laid out in a traditional brick pattern, to reflect the district’s large scale contemporary structures. “The grey brick façade forms a sort of lattice screen that refers to the hutongs nearby,” states Scheeren. “Guardian Art Center’s large and small volumes acknowledge the hybrid condition of art and culture today. This is an auction house, so there is trading of art. It commercialises things, assigns value to things and thereby preserves things. “Being at the intersection of two roads in Beijing — one having a strong

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A view to The Forbidden City and Jingshan Park from Guardian Art Center, showing how the lower half of the building’s scale and materials relate to the neighbourhood’s hutongs.


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/ MIXED-USE /

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/ PHOTOGRAPHY SHAO FENG

/ WORDS MICHELE KOH MOROLLO

TOMORROWLAND Influenced by the Industrial Revolution and Information Age, this mixed-use space in Shanghai brings an IT-shaped future world into the present.

C

hinese firm Powerlong Group recently opened Ideas Lab – a shopping, research, office and exhibition space in Shanghai, where their customers can come to experience the future of unmanned electronic retail. The Group, whose business interests include real estate, industry, information, hospitality, culture, and the arts, hired renowned architect Li Xiang and her team at X+Living to create a bold, mixed-use hub that would better connect the company with the public, while serving as a metaphor for the Age of Technology. Housed within Powerlong Commercial Centre – a roughcast, standalone, commercial building in Shanghai’s Minhang district – the 1,100m2 space was developed into a two-level hub for both the company’s employees, and the public. Powerlong researchers and office staff work, interact, and share ideas with each

other on the upper level, while visitors can walk around the lower level to experience a purely electronic retail environment. According to Li, the design for the Lab was informed by themes from the Industrial Revolution and the Information Age. The goal was to physically manifest the zeitgeist of our IT age, and to provide an incubator and community hub where people can exchange ideas and experience first-hand the future of IT. On the first floor is a café, meeting spaces and six “reaction tanks” or “experience buckets” – semi-enclosed shop spaces that Powerlong leases to different vendors. Each functions as a retail space where visitors can view and purchase the vendor’s products and services. Here, rather than paying with cash or credit cards, visitors scan a QR code and pay using only their mobile phones. The curved outlines of the reaction

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/ MIXED-USE /

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tanks are repeated throughout the Lab in the form of arched thresholds and windows, spiral staircases and circular seats, creating a futuristic atmosphere that brings to mind sets from sci-fi movies such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or Gattaca. Located on the second floor are the workspaces, which accommodate 150 employees from various departments. Li designed one of the sections on this floor in the form of six flower petals to soften the industrial feel of the interiors. She created a pink, capsule-shaped structure, constructed onsite with glass fibre-reinforced gypsum. Forms and structures commonly seen in factories such as elevated metal catwalks, massive tanks, and utility pipes were incorporated into the design of the passageways and staircases. Ornate metalwork along the staircase, walkways and partitions, along with whimsical metal lamps add a subtle gothic feel to the concept. “We used factories of the Age of Steam as our prototype, but cut off the complex parts, and kept only the most basic functional parts, such as reaction tanks, energy transmission pipelines, and raised platforms that engineers use,” says Li.

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The walls and floors are made of selfleveling concrete and painted in cementcoloured art paint. Wooden boards, painted white, were used for the floors. Metal fittings were used throughout, and pipe-like structures conceal the air-conditioning units, electrical wires and cables. The clean white-and-grey colour scheme is enlivened with pops of pastel pink, which add a sense of fun and cheerfulness to the calm and futuristic space. All the furniture, including engraved solid wood stools in the café area, were custom-designed by X+Living.

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A pink spiral staircase accents an otherwise white-andgrey palette, leading up from the public area on the first level to the work spaces on the upper level.


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Offices for Powerlong staff are located on the upper level. The walls and floors are made of self-leveling concrete and painted in cement coloured art paint.

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A large pipe-like tunnel structure serves as a walkway on the first level, inspired by factories of the Age of Steam.

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/ COMMERCIAL /

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/ PHOTOGRAPHY FAIZ NAQUIDDIN & EICHI TAY

/ WORDS LOW SHI PING

PEACE BE WITH YOU The banality of materials used to create this wellness centre is a reminder that it is the simple things in life that matter.

L

ove yourself. If there is one message this wellness centre wants to convey, that is it. The affection should go beyond the physical, extending deeper into the soul. In doing so, you can experience life the way it should be: openly, calmly and steadily. In doing so, you journey towards enlightenment. Located in Genting Highlands in Malaysia, Healing Touch is a 5,600ft2 space dedicated to pampering the body and, hopefully, the spirit. That intention is clearly felt through the branding and the design. The centre is divided into eight zones, each named for one of the means to enlightenment in the Buddhist context. However, the connection to religion ends there. The zones correspond to a different service offered by Healing Touch, from

grooming to foot steam, reflexology, body massage, manicure and pedicure. The task of manifesting the message of the centre into the physical space fell upon Tay EiLing, Creative Director of Youngblood Creation, who has composed an industrial chic interior that manages to look raw but soothing at the same time. “The centre is located inside Big Box in Genting Highlands Sky Avenue, where the entire space is themed with a steampunk look. Hence, [we opted for] the industrial chic look to blend with the surroundings,” says Tay. The main entrance greets customers with the Chinese character for “enter”, representing the stepping in to the State of Life. Because of the layout of the centre, this portal admits you immediately into its heart. “The common hall is in the middle,

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/ COMMERCIAL /

HEALING TOUCH LOCATION COMPLETION DESIGN FIRM SITE AREA GROSS FLOOR AREA CONTRACTOR AWARD

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BIG BOX, GENTING HIGHLANDS SKY AVENUE, MALAYSIA 2018 YOUNGBLOOD CREATION SDN BHD 5,600FT2 5,600 FT2 DREAMTEAM SDN BHD INDE AWARD 2018 – NOMINATED IN WELLNESS CATEGORY


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The cement walls form the general internal envelope of the space as the setting, including in the hair salon.

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and the private services ‘tug’ at the corners. The layout was all determined by the flow of ‘chi’ within the space,” explains Tay. Despite the zones and the differences in their functions, there is an obvious coherence in the design through the repeated use of materials in their original, pure form. This was deliberately done to connect the various pockets. “We use a lot of raw cement to render the surfaces. The cement walls form the general internal envelope of the space as the setting,” she says. Other materials include steel, wood, stone and green, leafy plants to embrace the interior, hinting at the concept of “back to nature”. “The banality of the materials suggests the ‘back to basic’ teaching. [This coincides with the] raw, pure and calm design concept, projecting the idea of nature healing.” Among the highlights include curtains made from chain mail, used to divide the salon stations from the washing area. Wall panelling in the massage area

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/ HOSPITALITY /

/ WORDS PEARLIE TAN

LIVE AS THE NOBLES DID An abandoned Baroque mansion in Lithuania has been reimagined as a luxury hotel in the exuberant style of its aristocratic forebearers.

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n the World Heritage-listed historic centre of Vilnius, Lithuania, the doors have just opened at Hotel Pacai, the flagship in the Baltics for Design Hotels, of which it is a member. Architect Saulius Mikštas is responsible for its design, converting the 17th century mansion into a modern expression of Baroque, where the perspective shifts from contemporary forms to raw glimpses of the past. Across its 104 rooms and public spaces, elegant Nordic minimalism blends harmoniously with the inimitable patina of ancient walls.

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The geometric light fittings, gold and black accents and bold Lithuanian artwork create a confident contrast, striking a transcendental balance between old and new.

AN ARISTOCRATIC PAST The building that houses the hotel dates back to 1677, when two adjacent properties were purchased by Mykolas Kazimieras Pacas, a military commander and nobleman in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Designed and built by the prominent Florentine architect Giovanni Battista Frediani in the original style of Vilnius

After over 300 years, the coat of arms of the noble Pacai family has been restored on the building’s façade.


/ PHOTOGRAPHY SIMONAS LINKEVIÄŒIUS

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/ HOSPITALITY /

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Baroque, the mansion was adorned with stucco sculptures, hand-painted frescoes and crystal chandeliers. Vilnius was the centre of the Grand Duchy during this time, and political, economic and social life was in full swing. The mansion was the residence of the aristocratic Pacai family for 150 years, who welcomed dignitaries including tsars, kings and emperors. This was the glamorous golden age of the Baroque. After the uprising against Russian rule in 1831 and the ensuing years of war and subjugation, the mansion was systematically occupied, destroyed and rebuilt, before being abandoned until 2014. Its new owners discovered that the sculptural embellishments of its noble predecessors had been removed, the ceilings bleached and painted, walls plastered over and some sections completely rebuilt. Refusing to accept the status quo, they saw the potential to be had, and with the intention of turning it into a hotel, tasked Mikštas and his team to undo the damage.

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TURNING BACK TIME Following two years of archaeological research, the process of restoration became a highly specialised operation with an aim to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument, based on a respect for original materials and authentic details. According to Mikštas, the main challenges were making the historical building work for modern accommodation needs and implementing contemporary architecture. “It must stop at the point where conjecture begins. Any extra work must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp,” says Mikštas.

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Evergreen walls evoke the natural beauty of Lithuania.

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Guest rooms feature traditional parquet floors and original paintings by local artists.

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Vaulted ceilings are highlighted with customised light fittings.


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/ ABODE /

/ WORDS LUO JINGMEI

SLOW REVEAL A tripartite system of screening elements is composed creatively to provide this domain by HYLA Architects with both privacy and views.

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n Singapore’s dense urban residential landscape, where many landed homes open up directly to neighbours across a small lane, true privacy is a rare commodity. Homeowners who build glasshouses resort to closing up the views perennially with curtains or blinds, or make use of permanent timber or metal slat screens that filter light and views. The latter is a reliable but none too interesting solution. HYLA Architect’s Room Without Roof house attempts to resolve these issue with an inventive layered concept.

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Behind the semienclosed facade is an open courtyard that is well-sheltered and shaded from tropical elements.

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/ PHOTOGRAPHY DEREK SWALWELL

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/ ABODE /

ROOM WITHOUT ROOF LOCATION COMPLETION ARCHITECT BUILT AREA CONTRACTOR STRUCTURAL ENGINEER LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR

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SINGAPORE 2017 HYLA ARCHITECTS 720M2 V-TECH CONSTRUCTION GNG CONSULTANTS NYEE PHOE FLOWER GARDEN


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The house is the perfect foil for the light and shadow play that changes throughout the day.

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Houses designed by Han immerse occupants in nature starting from the outside and working its way in via courtyards, carefully crafted vistas and planters.

One notices upon approaching the house a clean-cut primordial shape clad in charcoal-coloured bricks with three rectilinear openings. This form defines not only the interiors of the newly built house, but also the pool that lines the long elevation of the house on one side. Walls that surround the pool on three sides are clad with a range of materials, and in a variety of ways, providing the only ornamentation necessary to accompany the house’s simple form. These surfaces are the perfect foil for the rich array of shadow and light play that alternate throughout the day with the course of the sun.

2 “The neighbourhood is a typical suburban setting. In Singapore, this means that there are no real views beyond the view to the street and to the neighbours,” affirms the firm’s founder and lead project architect Han Loke Kwang. The screening, he lets on, attempts to provide homeowners with a solution in a creative way. “There are three types of screens. The first uses brick. The foyer has a brick wall with openings capped with glassinfilled aluminium sections so that it can be sealed from the outdoors. The brick wall that defines the swimming pool has through openings. “Secondly, precast concrete breeze blocks on the second storey face the courtyard space [which contains the pool]. Lastly, operable timber screens at the front elevation and study facing the swimming pool give added privacy,” he elaborates. The timber screens, with tightly space latticework, are reminiscent of the Arabic mashrabiya, and contrasts in warmth to the more stoic stone and concrete elements. The concrete breezeblocks have been custom-designed and there are

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/ AVANT-GARDE /

BRIDGING INTO THE FUTURE

Equally comforting is a smart sensor network that will be deployed on the bridge, courtesy of mathematicians from the Alan Turing Institute and IoT specialists and engineers. It will keep watch over elements such as strain, displacement and vibration, and be tested against its digital twin. The end goal is to gather valuable insights that can be used to inform designs for future 3D-printed metallic structures, while ensuring pedestrian safety. How’s this for reassurance?

/ WORDS LOW SHI PING

Will you dare cross this bridge when you get there? The folks from Dutch robotics firm MX3d sure hope so. No ordinary structure, the 12m-long four-metre-wide steel bridge is being 3D-printed and will eventually span a canal - possibly next year - in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District once its renovation is complete. Throwing their weight behind it are engineering firm Arup and researchers from Imperial College London, who will perform several full load tests to determine the structural integrity.

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d+a Issue 105 (Preview)  

Could Siri or Alexa someday replace the role of an architect? At present, it does not sound possible. Despite the Fourth Industrial Revoluti...

d+a Issue 105 (Preview)  

Could Siri or Alexa someday replace the role of an architect? At present, it does not sound possible. Despite the Fourth Industrial Revoluti...

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