Mandai Courtyard House / Atelier M+A

  • 19 Sep 2012
  • Houses Selected Works
© Robert Such

Architects: Atelier M+A
Location: ,
Project Team: Masaki Harimoto, Ng Ai Hwa, Wang Mei Yee
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 572 sqm
Photographs: Robert Such

Setting amidst the nature reserve that bounds the Upper Seletar reservoir, the bungalow at Mandai area is bestowed with the serenity and repose rarely found in the island of buzzling Singapore.

© Robert Such

In the island where every inch of land is dear, the owner’s brief for a single-storey bungalow house is unusual, and reflects a nonchalant attitude towards the mainstream practice of maximising the allowable buildable area granted by the authority.

Section 01

The house is designed in an orthogonal ‘doughnut’ shape, with the interior spaces surrounding a central open courtyard. The ‘doughnut’ configuration allows the owner to enjoy a secured outdoor space inside the building during the evenings after work, while the roof laid with timber deck above the living/dining space is an ‘outdoor living/dining space’ during parties and gathering.

© Robert Such

The living/dining space make up the front of the house that opens up to the road along the front boundary. A wall-to-wall timber deck strip aligns each side of the living/dining space where one could sit to enjoy the front garden and the courtyard, not unlike the ‘engawa’ concept of the traditional Japanese house, which is a transitory space between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’. Full-height glass sliding panels open the interior and the central courtyard to the public unapprehensively to blend the exterior into the interior. Natural light abounds the interior and constant breeze of fresh air is a given for the abode.

© Robert Such

An overhanging canopy floats in front of the entrance door to create a weightless statement in contrast to the grounded house form. The white colour with black colour such as ‘gargoyles’ and window frames as accentuation is a tribute towards the black and white colonial bungalows which are significant in Singapore.

First Floor Plan
Cite: "Mandai Courtyard House / Atelier M+A" 19 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=271545>
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  • MARK

    This design is ideal for a cool country not tropical Singapore.

    • Deepak Gupta

      Nice design. But How will the house handle heavy rains…I am not sure.

  • Rupert Singleton

    I used to live next door to this house in an old 1960′s house perfectly a tune to the tropical climate – the house never needed air conditioning. The houses in this area being near to an old British Army base (now a Singapore Armed Forces base) were officers quarters. 3 bedroom detached bungalows with a plot ratio of green space to built up environment of 60 / 40. This is now an obsolete quota due to astronomical land values of present day Singapore. Also, in this area due to the high frequency of helicopters from the army base sound proofing is a consideration so I question ‘serenity’ of this area!!. Something that an architectural photo cannot really convey is the pollution fallout, wind permitting, from nearby Malaysia. 6-7pm can be toxic to ones health on Meng Suan Road so named after my landlord’s father who due a land dispute my old house seen in the shadows of frame one of this post still stands. As does the 40 year old durian tree seen in the background of the root terrace perspective. Hope it’s OK to post some history / fact to ad context to this house project.

  • Rupert Singleton

    I used to live next door to this house in an old 1960′s property perfectly a tune to the tropical climate – the house never needed air conditioning. The houses in this area being near to an old British Army base (now a Singapore Armed Forces base) were officers quarters. 3 bedroom detached bungalows with a plot ratio of green space to built up environment of 60 / 40. This is now an obsolete quota due to astronomical land values of present day Singapore. Also, in this area due to the high frequency of helicopters from the army base sound proofing is a consideration so I question ‘serenity’ of this area!!. Something that an architectural photo cannot really convey is the pollution fallout, wind permitting, from nearby Malaysia or from Tuas, Singapore’s industrial zone of toxic petrochemicals. 6-9pm can be toxic to ones health on Meng Suan Road so named after my landlord’s father who due a land dispute my old house seen in the shadows of frame one of this post still stands. As does the 40 year old durian tree seen in the background of the root terrace perspective. Hope it’s OK to post some history / fact to ad context to this house project.

  • ga ga

    简洁!功能齐全。没有有过多的装饰因此很好的控制了造价成本,又有相当强的设计感!

  • ga ga

    简洁!功能齐全。没有有过多的装饰因此很好的控制了造价成本,又有相当强的设计感!