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DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE / WWW.DESIGNANDARCHITECTURE.COM / / ISSUE 117. 2020 • S$8 /

CASA A

REM’A ARQUITECTOS

COURTYARD VARIANT HOUSE K2LD ARCHITECTS

CANVAS HILL RESIDENCE CHOO GIM WAH ARCHITECT

A DESIRED HOME

LIANG ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

MODERNISM IS ALL AROUND US

SINGAPORE $8

M A L AY S I A R M 1 8

HONGKONG HKD90

AUSTRALIA AUS$14.95

OTHERS US$12


REPORT

WHAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN SALONE DEL MOBILE 2020 WAS CANCELLED, BUT IT HAS NOT PREVENTED SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE BRANDS FROM LAUNCHING NEW PRODUCTS. WE DO A ROUNDUP OF WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE OFFERED HAD THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT FURNITURE FAIR BEEN HELD. WOR DS LOW SHI PIN G

FURNITURE DESIGN CAPITAL

Tailormade from Cierre: The

Italian

furniture

manufacturer launched a collection where leather and fabric are used sideby-side in the pieces, from sofas to armchairs and a range of accessories like poufs and pillows.

Open Air by Andrea Parisio from Meridiani: Live outdoors in style is what this collection promises, featuring unique materials like concrete, rope, aluminium and iroko across pieces like sofas, armchairs and lounge beds.

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SPACE FURNITURE

Bell High Table by Sebastian Herkner from ClassiCon: The largest version of the Bell Tables collection, this new addition has a base traditionally hand-blown into a wooden mould and is entirely handcrafted.

Camaleonda by Mario Bellini from B&B Italia: The reissue of the piece first launched in 1970, the contemporary version sees an update to the materials used to construct this modular piece that has an infinite number of possible configurations.

Trino by Elisa Ossino from Viccarbe: These side tables are described to be “born with a sculptural soul and stage vocation”, their easy-to-move nature accentuated by handles available in metal, solid oak or marble.

On and On by Barber & Osgerby from Emeco: This is a collection of chairs and stools made of 70 percent recycled PET, 10 percent non-toxic pigment and 20 percent glass fibre for strength, making it perfect for the environment and sits comfortably in a café or fast-casual restaurant.

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REPORT

W. ATELIER

Vico Duo by Vico Magistretti from Fritz Hansen: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the designer’s birth, Fritz Hansen has reissued this stackable chair with arm pads and black powdercoated bases for a contemporary appearance.

Bulè by Chiara Andreatti from Lema: Now available in marble with a new Candoglia finish, this round table is perfect for an Asian home and comes complete with a lazy Susan.

Crystal Rock Table Lamp by Arik Levy from Lasvit: This addition to one of the brand’s most successful collections is sanded on the inside, while still shiny on the outside, giving it a beautiful ambient glow.

Lodge Cabana from Gloster: Styled as the ultimate outdoor personal space, this private cocoon has luxuriouslydeep cushions, oversized pillows and a shelf to store that cocktail.

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FITTINGS JUNG

G + I socket: Suited for use in hotels, airports and railway stations, this piece covers the connection options of more than a third of countries, including the UK, China and Argentina.

AR-Studio

app:

Download

this app to help plan and visualise JUNG’s products in the spaces you are designing.

Multi-port USB chargers: Both the USB-A and USB-C ports fit neatly into this solution that comes in the LS 990 style in white, and A 550 in black.

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F E AT U R E

MODERNISM AROUND US SINGAPORE’S MODERN BUILT HERITAGE IS MORE UBIQUITOUS THAN WE REALISE, VISIBLE IN ALL PARTS OF THE ISLAND FROM THE CITY CENTRE TO THE PUBLIC HOUSING ESTATES. WORDS DR. CH ANG JIAT HWEE

01

/ CAPT IONS DR. CH ANG JIAT HWEE & JUSTIN ZHUANG / P H OTOGRAPHY DARREN S OH

EDITOR’S NOTE

This is part of a series where we spotlight the conservation of Singapore’s modern built heritage. Visit the d+a website for complementary stories on this important issue.

hen we think of modernist

by the authorities, or are being studied for

buildings from Singapore’s

conservation due to their architectural and

recent past, we often single

social significance.

out the “heroic” examples,

Heroic modernism on its own, however,

such as Golden Mile Complex, Jurong Town

does not fully capture the richness and

Hall, the former Singapore Conference Hall

diversity of modernist buildings in Singapore.

and Trade Union House, and the former These are heroic because they were bold

large proportion of its built environment was

and visionary in conception. Their striking

constructed after the 1960s, with the city

forms

centre primarily a result of urban renewal.

and

delightful

spaces

reflect

the

architects’ ingenuity. Some also attribute their significance to their zeitgeist, the fearless, can-do spirit of the nation-building era of Singapore during the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, many of these examples of heroic modernism have rightly been conserved

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Singapore is one of the most modernist countries in the world. An overwhelmingly

Subordinate Court.

Around 80 percent of the population resides in outlying satellite new towns built around the same time. Both of these were products of the “Ring Plan”, first proposed by the United Nations planning experts and later implemented in a series of Concept Plans.

01. The first point blocks at 160 Mei Ling Street were sold to the public in 1970. The 20-storey-tall block consists of three- and four-room apartments.


02

ROLE MODEL Heritage group My Community raises awareness of the mature neighbourhoods and social spaces in Singapore through organising events there. Its President, Kwek Li Yong, shares how it offers a different perspective of our modern buildings. “Our modern buildings might be misperceived as not having much history. However, a clutch of them – especially those of the public housing or public infrastructure/facilities variety – has grown with our local communities. They were the models in which later estates and social institutions were fashioned after, forming the basis of our rather remarkable, high-density landscape today. They play a critical role in informing our understanding of why Singapore is what it is today, how it came to be and the thought that went into shaping our land. We’d be poorer without them, so it is critical to turn the spotlight on these neglected buildings, their associated backstories and subsequent communitymoulded histories. My Community stepped into Queenstown in 2008 to lobby and advocate for the conservation of the historic town. We consulted 2,000 residents on the ground, developing a detailed conservation paper identifying 18 pre- and post-independence modern structures to be saved. These included 13 terrace houses designed by the Singapore Improvement Trust and completed by the HDB between 1959 and 1961; and Masjid Mujahidin, the first mosque constructed by the HDB. We helped Singaporeans see that their everyday histories are worth preserving, and that we as a country should tweak our lenses to value these structures as more than just practical solutions to housing shortage issues. We sought to start conversations on them, and to save them for future generations of Singaporeans to experience them first-hand in real life, and not only on paper. Three social institutions in Queenstown – the library, a former wet market and Alexandra Hospital – were eventually identified for conservation and protection by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in the same year under its Master Plan 2013. The National Heritage Board also gave Queenstown a Heritage Town Award.”

Taking the whole island as a planning unit, these plans radically transformed the territory of the city-state and how Singaporeans live through what Rem Koolhaas characterised as the tabula rasa mode of development typical of modernism. 02. Block 259 at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2, 2019. The first and only circular point block by the HDB was completed in 1981. /

Yet, unlike many places around the world, modernist

buildings

in

Singapore

are

not

stigmatised and are generally accepted and even well-loved by its inhabitants. However, most of them remain unknown to us for various reasons. It might be because they are so ubiquitous that they are deemed ordinary and thus taken for granted. I call these well-loved but underappreciated modernist buildings “everyday modernism”. Together with writer Justin Zhuang and

03. Inaugurated in 1973, Block 168A along Queensway was Singapore’s first doublecurve public housing block. apartments.

photographer Darren Soh, I have co-authored a book tentatively titled Everyday Modernism to document these ordinary but fascinating built backdrops to

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the daily lives of many Singaporeans. Below, I draw from a few examples of everyday modernism discussed in the book. My focus is on those located in the public housing estates and predominantly designed by architects working in the government agencies, as these tend to be overlooked. Everyday modernist buildings might be best appreciated through the typological framework. They are seldom singular; they tend to be part of a series.

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04

HDB 04. A 1980s school designed by Alfred Wong Partnership with the PWD. / 05. Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex’s tetrahedral skylight design won it an award from the Singapore Institute of Architects in 1986.

BLOCKS:

The

slab

and

blocks designed and built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) are probably the most repeated typologies. With rare exceptions, such as the circular point block at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2, the same design for either a slab or a point block was built many times over and at different housing estates. But that does not mean that all slab and point blocks are the same, or that the designs are unchanging. In fact, HDB constantly sought to diversify the designs throughout the years. For example, it unveiled seven new block designs in 1979, giving rise to multidirectional point blocks and staggered slab blocks, among others.

SCHOOLS:

Besides housing, the school

was

building

another

type

that

received

great attention from the post-independence

number of locations, at least one of them is still

government. It went on an intensive school-

standing at Alexandra Road, currently occupied by

building spell in the 1960s to train the human

the APSN Tanglin Special School.

resources required for economic development.

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05

point

From the 1960s, the Public Works Department

RECREATIONAL

(PWD) developed a series of standard designs for

In addition to spaces of learning, spaces of

schools. Each decade has its own unique “mass-

recreation constitute the other key example of

produced” schools. These include the 1960s type

everyday modernism. These include typologies

with exposed brick walls and capped by a series

like

of gable roofs; the 1970s type that each featured a

community centre, which are an integral part of

unique 9m-by-3m mural to differentiate between

the “heartland”, i.e. public housing estates. Like

the similar-looking schools; and the 1980s type

other amenities in the public housing estates,

with a large mono-pitched sloping roof that

these typologies were designed mainly by the HDB

unified the few blocks underneath it. To encourage

and built from the 1960s. Among the prominent

new ideas, the Ministry of Education and PWD

examples of swimming pools are the former

even co-organised an internal competition to

Bedok Swimming Complex (demolished) and Ang

solicit school building designs among architects

Mo Kio Swimming Complex. Sculptural skylights

working in the government agencies in 1975. One

jut out of the flat roofs of both buildings, forming

of the most striking winners was a primary school

interesting roofscapes that could be appreciated

with hexagon-shaped classrooms. Realised at a

from the surrounding high-rise HDB flats. Another

the

swimming

FACILITIES:

pool,

playground

and


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ENCOURAGING OWNERSHIP Larry Yeung, Executive Director of Participate In Design, shares how his organisation helps residents in Singapore inculcate meaning towards their modernist built heritage.

type of low-rise sculptural object within housing estates is the playgrounds. Any discussion of playground today has to include the now-iconic dragon playground designed by Khor Ean Ghee in 1979. But that too was part of a series — released together with the dove playground and based on the further development of earlier designs from the early 1970s.

COMMUNITY

CENTRES:

Unlike

swimming pools and playgrounds, community centres are not strictly spaces of recreation. If recreation takes place in these centres, it is to foster stronger community bonding. Regarded as 06. Thomson Community Centre, 2019. The glassenclosed elevator was added in a renovation.

a critical part of the “important nerve system of the body politic of Singapore” by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, the People’s Action Party government of Singapore actively planned, built, managed and upgraded the network of community centres from 1959 till today. While the earlier community centres were based on

How are you, through Participate in Design (P!D), helping Singaporeans see our modern buildings through a fresh pair of lenses? The value of our HDB heartlands goes beyond just its built form, but also its community and social-cultural significance. It can almost be seen as a common living room where people from all backgrounds come together. What we do in P!D is to provide this conversation and a co-creation platform, so that residents can see the value and potential of our built environment in making our neighbourhoods more loveable. One such project is “Welcome to our Backyard (WOBY!)”, where we re-designed a seemingly dull piece of grass patch in between two blocks at MacPherson with the residents and stakeholders. Through this co-creation, the community re-imagined the once transitionary space into a loveable social one, which means a lot more to them. Why do you feel this is important? I think for Singaporeans to do more in preserving our built heritage, we must first inculcate a sense of ownership for the spaces around them. Such a participatory design process can play a huge role in giving Singaporeans that sense of ownership. Only when Singaporeans recognise the role they can play in shaping and protecting their shared environment/ memories will we be able to see more actions from Singaporeans to conserve our built heritage. What more do you think can be done at the grassroots level? I would like to see more opportunities to discuss and brainstorm ideas for public and heritage spaces. You protect what you love. It is only through such chances to co-create that Singaporeans can inculcate that sense of ownership, and see themselves not just as mere consumers of our city, but also as collaborators when it comes to conserving our built heritage.

rudimentary standard types, the later ones became increasingly sophisticated. Both the HDB architects and architects in private practice were enlisted to design them from the 1970s. This rather cursory overview of everyday modernism only hints at the range, depth and broader social relevance of a significant number of modernist built environment that we are surrounded by and our lives are enacted in. My co-authors and I hope that Everyday

Modernism will stimulate further interest in the quotidian form of modernism that very much defined Singapore’s way of life in the postindependence period.

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RESIDENCE

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DOMAIN DESIGN Society is retreating indoors, and staying there, possibly for weeks on end. COVID-19 has made us develop a more intimate relationship with our residences and as a result, the client’s brief for that dream home will become more complicated. For instance, those who have the luxury of space will have separate areas for working and living factored in; those who do not have to be offered creative solutions for multi-functionality. This next section showcases eight well-designed abodes that should inspire and act as guiding lights for the way forward for the residential typology.

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RESIDENCE SINGAPORE

INTERSTITIAL INTERVENTION WORDS LOW S HI PING / P HOTOGRAPH Y DEREK SWALWELL

A SERIES OF TRADITIONAL SOLUTIONS APPLIED IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY BY HYLA ARCHITECTS RESULTS IN THE VERDANT VERANDAHS HOUSE CONCEALED BEHIND AN ARTISTIC CONCRETE BRISE SOLEIL.

People [now] realise how important their home is. Make sure your design is so beautiful your client doesn’t want to go back to the office.

HAN LOKE KWANG, PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT, HYLA ARCHITECTS, ON COVID-19’S IMPACT ON RESIDENTIAL DESIGN AND HOW ARCHITECTS SHOULD RESPOND

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01


01. Adopting a grid-like pattern, the concrete brise soleil resembles a monochromatic version of a Piet Mondrian painting.

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RESIDENCE SINGAPORE

02

anded

property

owners

“We sought to give the house privacy

when designing their homes

by creating a series of interstitial spaces

in Singapore: the lack of

between the external and internal areas,” explains Han.

privacy and tropical climate. No stranger to this conundrum is the

These manifest as verandahs on the

which

second floor and attic, edged with planter

consistently outdoes itself in coming up with

boxes from which leafy greenery spills out

well-designed solutions to mitigate these

with unbridled enthusiasm.

award-winning

HYLA

Architects,

Consequently, each of the rooms on

challenges. Verdant

Verandahs

is

yet

another

example. A two-storey semi-detached house sited on a street corner, it ran the risk of becoming a fishbowl.

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LIKE A MONDRIAN

typically have two concerns

the upper floors looks into its own “private garden”. The beauty of it is that none of this is visible from the outside, hidden, as they are,

But under the direction of HYLA’s Principal

by a façade composed of a thick, concrete

Architect Han Loke Kwang, it has turned out

brise soleil that also offers protection from

otherwise.

the sun.

02. The brise soleil hides verandahs and planter boxes from which leafy greenery spills out with unbridled enthusiasm. / 03. Concrete was chosen to construct the brise soleil as it is easy to maintain, plastic and able to form according to the required dimensions and aesthetic.


03

33


RESIDENCE SINGAPORE

VISAGE OF CALM WORDS LOW S HI PING / P HOTOGRAPH Y MARC T EY P HOTOGRAPH Y

A VEIL OF BAMBOO CLOAKS THIS SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE BY WALLFLOWER ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN SERVING AS A MULTIFUNCTIONAL SKIN.

ROBIN TAN, CO-FOUNDER, WALLFLOWER ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN, ON RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE

42

I think the biggest evolution is with the shift from traditional to online information. There is greater ease of access to design knowledge and exposure for everyone at virtually no cost. This, in turn, helps to drive greater design awareness and appreciation. Design is now seen as a necessity to solve problems and add value to architecture and interior spaces.

01


01. Immediately obvious is a screen made up of vertical pieces of bamboo that wraps around the second floor of the house.

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RESIDENCE SINGAPORE

02

n paper, this project looked

Wallflower’s

co-founder

Robin

Tan

like a challenging one: A

likens it to a veil “wrapping around the

semi-detached house sitting

building in a single continuous ‘cloth’”.

on a bend in the street with a

BREATHABLE SKIN

triangular plot and narrow frontage. Fortunately, with the award-winning, 21-year-old

Wallflower

Architecture

+

more – deftly balancing that important

Design working on it, together with a simple

form and function equation that every home

brief from the owners, the end-result that is

should have.

Bamboo Veil House turned out to be quite extraordinary.

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Yet, this striking feature is so much

“As a unifying element, the bamboo screen flows around the rounded edges of

Immediately obvious is a screen made

the façade, creating a soft and organic layer

up of vertical pieces of bamboo that wraps

sandwiched between the defined white

around the second floor.

eaves,” explains Tan.

02. Sustainable and eco-friendly, the bamboo is lightweight and strong, while being easy to install, replace or repair. / 03. The use of bamboo on the facade was inspired by the homeowner’s visit to the Nezu Museum by Kengo Kuma where he was enchanted by a similar treatment.


03

45


RESIDENCE SINGAPORE

04

“The rounded edges of the façade

The bamboo was sourced locally by

one approaches from it, one is greeted by a

contractor Littlewoods Design. Sustainable

bamboo veil that shields its occupants from

and eco-friendly, it is lightweight and strong,

prying eyes.

while being easy to install, replace or repair.

“The natural colour of the bamboo against

“[This] aligns with the owner’s concern

the white backdrop further accentuates the

for the environment as the bamboo screen is

dominance of the veil.”

an opportunity to cool the house passively

Come nightfall, lights from inside the house spill out from between the bamboo, evoking the effect of a delicate lantern.

and reduce reliance on energy-intensive airconditioning,” points out Tan. But there is more. The bamboo screen is

Closer examination of the screen shows

in fact an outer skin and conceals an inner

that it is in fact made up of individual panels

layer of aluminium-framed glass windows

that can pivot 90 degrees, depending on the

that can be opened.

amount of privacy and views wanted, and to

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protect against the tropical sun.

respond to the street bend, such that when

This double-skin façade approach is a

04. The screen is made up of individual panels that can pivot 90 degrees.


AXONOMETRIC DRAWING

BAMBOO VEIL HOUSE

LOCATION

Singapore / COMPLETION

2019 / SITE AREA

385m2 / GROSS FLOOR AREA

485m2 / ARCHITECT

Wallflower Architecture + Design / LEAD ARCHITECT

Robin Tan / CONTRACTOR

Littlewoods Design / C&S CONSULTANT

GCE Consulting Engineers / M&E CONSULTANT

Adeline Chua / QUANTITY SURVEYOR

KH Lim Quantity Surveyors / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

Wallflower Architecture + Design

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RESIDENCE PA H A N G , M A L AY S I A

ARTISTIC HEIGHTS WORDS NIZAR MUSA / P HOTOGRAPH Y LAWRENCE CH OO

JANDA BAIK PROVES YET AGAIN A FERTILE GROUND FOR INSPIRATIONAL DESIGN, HOSTING A RESIDENCE WHICH HAS A MELANGE OF QUALITIES THAT MAKES IT THE PERFECT HOME AND WORKPLACE FOR A MALAYSIAN ARTIST.

CHOO GIM WAH, PRINCIPAL, CHOO GIM WAH ARCHITECT, ON COVID-19’S IMPACT ON RESIDENTIAL DESIGN

62

Some room layouts should have the flexibility to be converted to a home office, gym or any other usage if the need arises. Circulation zones, like corridors and staircases, would have to be designed so that partial or full zoning of areas is possible. Keep the layouts simple and straightforward.

01


01. The residence’s eclectic assemblage is a delicate balancing act of converging forms, materials, details and spatial programmes set into a forest landscape.

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RESIDENCE PA H A N G , M A L AY S I A

02

private

courtyard residence, or siheyuan, but with

gallery

three sides where an infinity pool forms the

that is Canvas Hill Residence

enclosing fourth side,” Choo shares of the

was completed in mid-2019, a

design’s origins.

he

family

workspace

home, and

art

project three-and-a-half years in the making.

yueliangmen or moon gate entrance, is

medium and the sloping Janda Baik site,

ostensibly defined by the residence’s pavilions

reflects the spirit of the homeowner – a

that frame the picturesque horizon beyond.

renowned local artist – that on many levels

Of the two, the main dwelling-cum-art-

intuits its use and genius loci within a modern

spaces is the larger edifice; layered with

yet tradition-infused architectural proposition.

cantilevered decks and flying roof, the three-

LIGHTNESS AND DRAMA The site’s naturally flat crest atop a 7m-high

storey pavilion manages to effortlessly project off the sloping terrain. The

second

more

diminutive

guest

knoll proffered a datum that architect Choo Gim

pavilion, though visibly grounded, retains a

Wah would leverage on.

similar language with its clever play of planes.

“The design I envisioned was a courtyard by

The scheme in totality is overtly linear, but

the slope, framed by two pavilions. It had to be

is skilfully manipulated to elicit the necessary

direct, bold, strong. Yet, it also needed to be light.

lightness and dramatic effect desired for such

“So we thought of the traditional Chinese

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The siheyuan, seen through the house’s

Its name, a combination of a painter’s

a prominent site.

02. Stratified within the main pavilion, the art spaces and family quarters enjoy both natural daylight and a cooling atmosphere harnessed by a permeable façade. / 03. The pavilion’s structural framing, enhanced by chengal and merbau timbers, embodies lightness in the site’s idyllic tableau.


03

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RESIDENCE PA H A N G , M A L AY S I A

04

05

WORK-LIFE BALANCE Within the main pavilion, the residence’s three modes – private, semi-private and public – are negotiated via stacking. As a family home, the pavilion’s basement and first floors house the semi-private spaces; 04. The yueliangmen (moon gate entrance) distills the essence of the house’s traditional Chinese courtyard concept or siheyuan. / 05. A bespoke staircase connecting the first and second floors maintains the light architecture thematic with its slender steel members and fine timber elements.

living and dining areas are gallery-like in their open-plan configuration, exposed to both courtyard and the 2.1m-wide cantilevered timber deck with a view of Genting Highlands. The second-floor family room and bedrooms are likewise encircled by a deck, connected to the level below through a bespoke steel staircase. An outdoor patio beneath the first floor deck serves as the artist’s workspace. Its

3m-high

illumination

ceiling

ideal

simultaneously

for

invites

natural

producing

artwork,

shielded

from

inclement

weather by the generous overhang above. The

art

gallery

directly

adjoins

the

workspace, and features both the artist’s works sun were priorities, revealing the purpose

and his private collection. space

behind the timber decks and the full-height

represents Canvas Hill’s public programme,

glass façades that allow penetration of light

accessible by a dedicated entryway and guest

deep into the interior.

Open

to

periodic

viewing,

the

parking at a lower platform separate from the

orientation, the elevated climes and cooler

SUN AND SHADE According

to

Choo,

air; high-level louvres like those of traditional views

to

the

surroundings and the capture of the morning

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Indoor temperatures remain surprisingly respectable, courtesy of the building’s axial

home entrance.

kampung houses ventilate the pavilion even when doors and windows are closed.


FLOOR PLANS

BASEMENT

1. Car park platform 2. Walkway 3. Landscape 4. Yard 5. Workshop 6. Private art gallery 7. Maid’s bedroom 8. Maid’s bath 9. Powder room 10. Laundry 11. Pool M&E 12. Entrance 13. Store 14. Foyer 15. Wet kitchen 16. Dinning hall 17. Dry kitchen 18. Living hall 19. Deck 20. Courtyard 21. Pool 22. Pool deck 23. Outdoor shower 24. Guest foyer 25. Guest bedroom 26. Guest bath 27. Family area 28. Master bedroom 29. Walk-in closet 30. Master bath 31. Study 32. Balcony 33. Badroom 34. Bathroom 35. R.C. flat roof

FIRST STOREY

SECOND STOREY

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RESIDENCE ZHEJIANG, CHINA

ILLUMINATION OF SPACE WORDS PRAISE POH / P HOTOGRAPH Y WANG T ING, YE S ONG

NATURAL LIGHTING IS INTEGRAL TO THE DESIGN OF THIS SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE BY LIANG ARCHITECTURE STUDIO, MAKING IT EXPANSIVE AND INTIMATE AT THE SAME TIME.

With society progressing and customers getting younger (born in the 1980s and 1990s), they are looking for homes that are minimalistic, emit a sense of openness and are arty and stylish. XU LIANG, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LIANG ARCHITECTURE STUDIO, ON MAJOR TRENDS IN RESIDENTIAL DESIGN

70


01

01. Windows of the same dimensions as the existing ones were added to introduce natural light into the interiors.

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RESIDENCE ZHEJIANG, CHINA

02

well-lit space enhances the user’s experience with the architecture.

The building’s original layout limited the entry of sunlight.

This is something Xu

Working around the existing structure,

Liang, founder and creative director of Liang

Xu and his team decided to divide the

Architecture Studio, understands well.

building into two — front and rear blocks

In response, natural lighting is his

— by dismantling the floor slabs along the

top design priority – something which he

central axis of the foyer, all the way up to

also introduced in the renovation of this

the rooftop.

three-storey

semi-detached

house

in

Zhejiang, China. “The client wanted a house filled with ample daylight. It is a luxury to experience the changing of sunlight through the day across the entire space,” Xu says. “So, in approaching this project, we tried to maximise the amount of natural

72

light in the place.”

The introduction of this newly-created atrium allows plenty of natural light to stream into all the floors, including the basement. A perforated aluminium panel was also

set

under

the

new

glass

roof,

casting interesting light patterns on the surrounding walls throughout the day.

02. The colour palette is kept minimal with furniture pieces like the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Talesein armchair acting as an accent. / 03. Dismantling the floor slabs along the central axis of the foyer all the way up to the rooftop, the designers achieved a spatial transformation so that the existing building is now divided into two parts.


03

73


RESIDENCE ZHEJIANG, CHINA

05

04

INTERPLAY OF OLD AND NEW More windows of the same dimensions as the existing ones were added to introduce natural light into the interiors, as well as expand the interaction between the outdoors and indoors. To further heighten the sense of space, the team also extended out the original facade walls by 1.2m. Xu recalls, “In the process of doing so, we encountered a ring beam in the structure above the foyer, which I felt would lead to a more holistic design if removed. However, we could neither demolish nor modify it. “Eventually, I discovered that the presence of the old ring beam across the newly created walls created a striking contrast. And when sunlight shines upon the beam, it emits a unique aura that is captivating and beautiful.”

04 To play up the relationship between the old (ring beam) and new (wall), the team added a mirrored box to the adjacent wall where the structural beam can be seen, extended further through its reflection in the mirror, while remaining as a witness of the renewal of space and changing of time. Besides the desire for more natural lighting, the clients also expressed their preference for an open and interactive living space. To facilitate this request, the team removed parts of the ceiling above the living room and dining area, forming a more connected and open layout between the public areas. He firmly believes that the interiors must be designed to meet the family’s living needs and enhance interaction among them. “The layout of the house is based on logical principles: One, functionalities must be convenient; two, suitable places must be allocated to cater to the family’s living habits; three, ensure there is a relationship between people and space, space and light, and light and people,” he explains.

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04. Parts of the ceiling above the living room and dining area were removed to make space for a more connected and open layout between the two areas. / 05. Designed by Joris Laarman for Italian lighting design firm Flos, the contemporary Nebula suspension lamp adds charm to the double volume space above the dining room. / 06. The newly-created atrium allows plenty of natural light to stream into all the floors, brightening the space considerably.


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A DESIRED HOME

LOCATION

Pujiang County, Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China / COMPLETION

2019 / GROSS FLOOR AREA

500m2 / ARCHITECT

Liang Architecture Studio / LEAD ARCHITECT

Xu Liang / DESIGN TEAM

Wang Xinyan, Zhou Zesi, Cheng Pingping, Sun Yongfang / LIGHTING DESIGN

Yaank / FURNITURE BRANDS

Vitra, Cassina, B&B, Moooi, Artilleriet, Magis, Porro, Flos, Luceplan, Artemide

A HOLISTIC EXPERIENCE To allow more sunlight in, a sunken courtyard sits directly under the atrium as part of the basement level, brightening the space considerably. However, it was still not sufficient for plants to thrive. To solve this, Xu used a preserving solution on the plants in the courtyard, in order to preserve its natural appearance. These

little

touches

of

green,

together with the warmth of natural light, transformed the basement into a cosy and relaxing space for the entire family. Yet, to enhance the functionality and living conditions of the basement, the team had to leap over several hurdles. “The

original

structure

of

the

basement did not have any drainage or sewage function, so we had to include them during the renovation process. We

75


RESIDENCE GUIMARÃES, PORTUGAL

A GEOMETRIC STATEMENT WORDS PEARLIE TAN / P HOTOGRAPH Y IVO TAVARES

SHEATHED IN SUSTAINABLE WOOD THAT EVOKES THE LIKENESS OF A NEST, THE AWARD-WINNING CASA A BY REM’A ARQUITECTOS USES VOIDS TO CREATE PRIVATE SPACES THAT ARE COMPELLINGLY OPEN.

ROMEU RIBEIRO AND JOSÉ PEDRO MARQUES, CO-FOUNDERS, REM’A ARQUITECTOS, ON HOW THE ARCHITECTURE OF HOMES HAS CHANGED

86

Above all else, the evolution is technological. We have more tools that allow us to experiment, try more ideas. We also think that people now have more information at their disposal, which allows us to have deeper discussions about the project and architecture.

01


01. The irregular placement of the upper floor creates an impression that the house has been rotated from its foundations.

87


RESIDENCE GUIMARÃES, PORTUGAL

02

istinguished

the

is clad with wooden battens of sustainable

ArchDaily Building of the

as

Lunawood Thermowood that shelter the

Year in 2020 in the category

private spaces of the residence.

of Best Applied Products,

A concrete base was chosen as a

Casa A is a striking contemporary home

technical, formal and visual solution for the

on the outskirts of the historic city of

structure, while the dominant upper volume

Guimarães, north of Portugal.

is sheathed in silver-grey timber panels in a

Driven by the client’s request for privacy, REM’A Arquitectos reinterpreted the urban

quality, much like a nest.

rules of the neighbourhood with a two-

“We look for materials that can give us

storey design, composed of a transparent

another dimension, a sensorial experience,”

social area set on the ground level and a

says Ribeiro and Marques.

sealed-up, nest-like upper massing with three bedrooms.

BUILDING AROUND VOIDS

“The main idea comes from the intention

To negotiate the sloping topography of

to create a massive volume, closed as a nest,

the 1300m² site, a flat plane was carved into

that shows indifference to the relations

the hillside and demarcated by a concrete

with

explains

shear wall that extends along two sides of

Romeu Ribeiro and José Pedro Marques, co-

the recessed ground floor, from the buried

founders of REM’A Arquitectos.

garage, past the kitchen and living areas to

the

surrounding

areas,”

“The nest on the upper floor defines and

the end of the poolside patio. From an aerial perspective, the house

shapes the project.” a

appears to have been rotated from its

densely-built neighbourhood, the monolith

intended axis. The rectangular structure

Harmoniously

88

diagonal pattern, which has a subtle woven

integrated

within


02.-03 Diagonally-laid Thermowood panels are a beautiful, sustainable solution for faรงades.

03

89


RESIDENCE GUIMARÃES, PORTUGAL

FLOOR PLANS

FIRST STOREY

SECOND STOREY

90


04

CASA A

LOCATION

Guimarães, PORTUGAL / COMPLETION

2019 / SITE AREA

1,300m2 / BUILDING AREA

249m2 / GROSS FLOOR AREA

450m2 / ARCHITECT

REM’A Arquitectos / LEAD ARCHITECTS

Romeu Ribeiro & José Pedro Marques / ARCHITECT AND CO-AUTHOR

André Novais / CONTRACTOR

Construções Bairro do Sol / M&E CONSULTANT

Fortunato & Paulo Engenharia Lda / SANITARYWARE

ROCA, BRUMA / AWARD

ArchDaily “Building of the Year 2020”

intersects the retaining wall at a 45-degree

we are using the house. Voids that cross all the floors,

angle, resulting in deep triangular voids

getting light from different solar orientations.”

integrated into the landscape. These private, open-air retreats encourage the owners to relish the outdoor spaces and sunny Portuguese climate, while remaining concealed from neighbouring buildings.

Exogenous voids surround the kitchen and social areas on the ground floor, enlarging the space and emphasising the views. Full-height sliding windows disappear into the walls of the living room to connect it to the pool.

“Voids shape the main volume,” explain

The perforated concrete shear wall defines the

Ribeiro and Marques. “Voids that connect us while

boundaries of the main floor, making an open space

04. The intersection of the house with the retaining wall results in triangular voids that enlarge the social spaces on the ground floor.

91


RESIDENCE MILOS, GREECE

MATHEMATICAL PRECISION WORDS LOW S HI PING / P HOTOGRAPH Y YIORGIS Y EROLYMBOS

IT MIGHT SEEM RANDOM BUT EVERY SINGLE FEATURE OF HOURGLASS CORRAL BY DECA ARCHITECTURE IS THE RESULT OF CAREFUL CALCULATION AND A HYPERSENSITIVITY TO THE SITE.

CARLOS LOPERENA, CO-FOUNDER, DECA ARCHITECTURE, ON HOW TO DESIGN FOR A SMALL HOME

94

My general advice is never to generalise. The needs and desires of the people who will live in it, the sensory qualities of the site, the materials and construction methods used, and the craftsmanship and skills of the crews that build the project will, without a doubt, impact the result. The more attuned one is to these facts, the more one can develop ideas that are sincere and original in nature.


01. Hourglass Corral is the result of a Russian mathematician’s construct – the Voronoi Diagram – expertly blended with the local vernacular and context of the site.

01

95


RESIDENCE MILOS, GREECE

03

02. The house is integrated into the topography of the land, a decision shaped by the low bushes and trees of the Cycladic landscape.

02

new

house

has

just

been

Alexandros Vaitsos, one of the two co-

section of Milos in the Cyclades

founders of DECA, shares that they began

group of islands in Greece.

by visiting the plot to understand its unique

in

the

From the aerial perspective, the site has an amorphous form divided into smaller,

features. “We went on site and we scouted for special locations: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have

equally amorphous polygonal sections. Some of these are covered with vegetation

a table here? What a nice place for a tree! I

punctuated by circular skylights, while others

would really like to wake up at this spot!’,”

are open to the sky, or have a shading canopy

he shares. Once these points were identified, they

stretched over it. It all seems rather randomly assembled together

but

query

the

architect

DECA

Architecture and the reality is far from it.

were inputted into a formula devised by Russian mathematician Georgy Voronoi and further fine-tuned using parametric tools.

In fact, Hourglass Corral, as this four-

The result is an organic grid that helped

bedroom residence is named, is the result of

to partition the site into sections or cells,

a Russian mathematician’s construct – the

thereby determining its layout.

Voronoi Diagram – expertly blended with the local vernacular and context of the site.

96

OF POINTS AND CELLS

southern

completed

“Voronoi’s formula ensured that each table, tree or bed enjoyed the most amount of


03. The planted roof becomes a landscape to be enjoyed from the pool area, while also keeping the spaces within naturally cool and pleasant.

97


PEOPLE

THE CONVERSATIONALIST WEIZHANG LIN IS INSPIRED BY DIALOGUE, CRITIQUE AND EXPERIMENTATION TO CREATE PERFECTLY BALANCED SPACES THAT COMMUNICATE EMOTIONS. WORDS LOW S HI PING

WEIZHANG LIN Principal, Super Fat Designs Age: 42 Design philosophy: Change is the only way forward

104


Why did you decide to become a designer?

that evening and I think we, as a practice, came out

I know the exact moment I wanted to be a designer. It

stronger. The clarity it gave us was tremendous and

was Christmas of 1991, when I was 13 years old, and I

we were definitely revitalised by the conversations

was part of a church carolling group that visited the

we had.

home of local architect Raymond Woo. I was blown approach to handling space completely transformed

How does your design style differ from other designers?

the quality of what I understood up to that point in my

What leads our designs is the space. We start by

life as a dwelling – everything from the bespoke crafted

studying its spatial qualities and attributes and

detailing, to the sensitive use of materials and colour to

use the environment to guide our hand to create

shape how the space worked, the artful arrangement

a balance. For example, large windows serve as a

of furniture and the pieces of art. That moment was

counter balance to a dark, textured material or can

profound for me in realising that spaces speak. They

be amped up with a light, bright material to convey a

have a “life” and as designers, we have the ability to use

particular emotion.

away immediately by the interiors. The volumetric

Super Fat Designs does a lot of residential and commercial projects. How do you think their design will be impacted by COVID-19? I believe there exists a solution for every problem. COVID-19 is no different. Residential spaces will change to reflect the

new

requirements

of

working/exercising/spending more

time

at

home.

commercial/retail social

distancing

For

spaces, measures

and the cessation of testers at retail counters will have profound effects on the future APOLLO S OFA FROM MAXALTO BY ANTONI O CITTERIO

them to transform how inhabitants feel and interact

of retail. I feel that retail design will be the most

with them. It has been my goal since to create spaces

exciting design space in the immediate term, with

that communicate emotion, where they can balance the

technology and new methodologies of sales being

relationship between inhabitant and shelter.

employed.

Where do you draw inspiration from to create your designs?

Why do you enjoy purchasing pieces from Space Furniture?

I believe that inspiration strikes when you have

Space Furniture has a massive range from kitchens

intense

and

to armchairs, accessories and lights. It is always

experimentation are fundamental to achieving the

impeccably styled and never has a shortage of

best results. One of the most memorable incidents was

natural daylight. Shopping there is always a pleasant

during a competition to re-design the classic Sacco

experience. One of my favourite brands is Maxalto. I

beanbag. We had some ideas, but were not sure how

love how the classical lines contrast with on-trend

to effectively communicate them in the design of the

materials. The attention to detail and crafted finish

bean bag. We therefore decided to gather a bunch of

are well put together and appeal to me.

conversations.

Dialogue,

critique

our friends – some were industry peers and others were working in unrelated fields – for a discussion at our studio. Ideas were debated on and exchanged

This story is produced in collaboration with SPACE FURNITURE. FURNITURE.

105


AVA N T- G A R D E

GROUND-BREAKING HOUSING MODEL

How do you humanise a sky-scrapping WORDS LOW SHI PING

He imagines sky gardens dotting the vertical

up with a solution as part of his graduating

length of the building, and units that can shrink

Master’s thesis project at the National University

and grow for rent or sale, according to the

of Singapore last year.

owner’s plans.

The Tesseract: Time Based Home Ownership

Naturally, residents will be encouraged to

Incentivisation Model is an award-winning

stay for a longer duration to strengthen that

concept that emphasises participatory design

sense of ownership and identity.

and urban renewal, especially for projects that have a 99-year lease. This it does through allowing residents to customise their apartments and select the amenities and communities, “enhancing their

112

sense of belonging in the process”, says Lau.

condominium? Architect Bryant Lau has come

“The volume of verticality, once thought of as finite, also opens up possibilities of further intensification through time, akin to the geometry of the Tesseract.” We hope a developer will turn this into reality.


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