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  1. ArchDaily
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  4. Singapore
  5. ONG&ONG Pte Ltd
  6. 2009
  7. 55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong

  • 01:00 - 23 August, 2009
55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong
55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong, © Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

© Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell © Derek Swalwell +22

  • Architects

  • Location

    55 Blair Rd, Singapore 089955
  • Design Team

    Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez.
  • Project Team

    Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez. Ryan Manuel, Linda Qing
  • Interior Design

  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. 55 Blair Road produces a spatial experience that excites the senses by promoting light open plan living which is unusual to this type of terrace house. This residence brings a balance between nature and contemporary living in a renovation of an Art Deco style terrace.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell


To create a light open plan living space, whilst promoting Inside/outside space. The contrasting relationship between the metallic elements and subtle tones within the house create an exciting spatial relationship throughout.

55 Blair road project is a renovation and restoration to a traditional art deco style shop house. Originally the house was renovated 10 years ago. The new owner however believed it was too dark and desired more light in the living spaces.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

Adhering to the conservation constraints of maintaining the existing envelope, a solution was reached. The residence was design around a young professional who had a clear vision of how the house should appear. The final scheme met that vision.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

The entire second floor in the main section of the house had been allocated for a master bedroom/study space with an en suite bathroom.

The restored traditional façade of the property envelops the new living space accommodating all the desired spaces of the client.

Bringing light into this long plot was an important consideration. A large air well divides the two sections of the house allowing for maximum light to penetrate the living spaces. Aluminum wall cladding wraps around the void. The aluminum bands reflect light into the living spaces.

The void acts not only as a large light well but also encourages natural ventilation within the house.

The intricate linear bands are a modern contrast that reflects the traditional ornate façade. This metallic architectural language used throughout the scheme emphasizes a unity within the spaces. The subtle tones and metallic elements complement each other to create a common theme throughout the house.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

Continuity of space was a key concept to promote the relationship of outside/inside space. The First floor employs flexible glazed walls that lead directly to the pool. The main section of the house is separated by the out door pool and frangipani garden. When both sides of the glazed partitions are open the first floor becomes one large space. The scheme proves to be an approach that promotes diversity of space. The ground floor is not only a lounge and dinning area it is an ideal place to relax and sit poolside. The intention to create a diverse space on the first floor adds huge value and appeal to a property this size.

The TV and music appliances are hidden in recesses in the wall that are concealed when not in use buy larges pieces of art, this reiterates the concept of continuity of spaces. The lighting can be controlled by an integrated computer that can be used to set lighting moods within the house.

The rear section (service area) of the house accommodates the kitchen space , a powder room, the maids’ room and a roof terrace. A steel spiral staircase links these spaces. The internal courtyard divides the two sections of the house however the same choice of materials is carried though the whole scheme to ensure unity.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

The kitchen has been finished in a seamless aluminum cladding. This creates a refined kitchen space.

A balance between the aluminum and the frangipani garden in the internal courtyard has developed a stimulating spatial experience. The contrasting relationship between the organic element and the long linear metal elements provide a suitable connecting space.

Several stepping-stones link the lounge and kitchen space across the pool divide.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell

The Century Frangipani is a native tree that has been associated with Buddhist and Hindu cultures. The old twisted trunk adds to the character of the house. It is contained within modern elements. This reflects the concept of the house in the way the old facade contains the modern.

The house is laid out on an axis that almost acts as a line of symmetry. The layout of spaces certainly is arranged to this line.

The master bedroom features an en suite bathroom space that is a contrasting architectural language to that of the façade. It is a glazed box that cantilevers over the pool area. This modern intervention emphasizes the playful nature of the scheme. Internally there is a total contrast to the ornate façade. The unsubtle architectural styles contrast each other in a way that contributes to the overall scheme.

The traditional flooring was used within the modern addition. The walnut planks runs through the second and third floors in response to the heritage of the property.

The sculpted stone bathtub sits at the edge of the cantilevered box overlooking the pool and garden below. The other bathroom fixtures are constructed in a similar stone. However the bathtub is the key architectural feature that completes the bathroom.

Another appealing feature of the master bedroom is that there is a large void that allows a view down to the first floor. The plan of the Master bedroom space is true to the axial layout of the house. Integrated symmetrical bookshelves line the walls that lead to the study area.

To overcome the constraint of maintaining the height of the second floor a new mezzanine space was created to accommodate an additional guest bedroom in the attic space. A jack roof was necessary to allow sufficient light into the attic. Light is able to penetrate through the house

The main spiral staircase depicts a rhythmic ribbon that ascends to attic space. This key architectural feature acts as a central pin through the main section of the residence. Naturally lit by a roof cylindrical skylight that creates a vertical strik that can reach the bottom part of the stairs. This organic approach reflects the natural aspects of the house with a modern interpretation. On the second and third floors the stairwell is encased in a stainless steel mesh. This detaches the circulation space and spatially breaks up the bedroom areas

The overall scheme successfully establishes a relationship between inside and outside space. The approach of situating a swimming pool in the centre of the house produces a space that is diverse and suitable to a range of activities. The benefits of the flexible space leading to the air well gives the occupant the option of creating a different type of space within the house. The aluminum clad air well draws light into the residence ensuring a well-let open plan living space meeting the client’s desires.

© Derek Swalwell
© Derek Swalwell
Cite: "55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong" 23 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


modern house for sale philippi · August 19, 2014

Great site. A lot of helpful information here. I'm
sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thanks to your effort!

sitemap · July 19, 2014

It is nice post.

Luckytudee · March 12, 2014

It's a wonderful refurbishment no doubt and invested a lot of time and the owner's vision , but it's sad to think that when this young profession start to have a family, they might have to move house because there are no rooms for the kids.

Rodolfo · February 09, 2014

Sublime, excelente, todos los detalles tenidos en cuenta. Felicitaciones a los diseñadores.

Resources · April 09, 2013

Yes! Finally someone writes about unclaimed property.

nafas · April 07, 2013

veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery good

Meneghetti · August 02, 2012

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong

RENarch · May 23, 2012

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily via @archdaily

jumanah · April 01, 2012

????? ????? ???
#????? #?????_??????? · March 09, 2012

55 Blair Road | Ong & Ong | Singapore

Aman Playboy · March 05, 2012

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Lily · February 14, 2012

LOVE IT! mini-funcional-cool...todo se puede con la buena arquitectura. via @archdaily

Angela Wan · February 14, 2012

#Singapore shop house redesigned with a light filled modern interior #architecture

RENarch · December 25, 2011

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Our Living Spaces · July 31, 2011

love this inter-terrace which won this year&#39s International Architecture Awards. Other winning entries by local...

Our Living Spaces · July 31, 2011

Love this house at 55 Blair Road designed by Ong & Ong (ArchDaily via @archdaily).

Nick Pan · July 30, 2011

This is too beautiful. Well done Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez. Ryan Manuel, Linda Qing, Derek Swalwell.

anahita mehraban · May 01, 2011

strong and alive!

Pedro Soares da Silva · March 10, 2011



Jimmy Jheeta · January 08, 2011

Would love to live here: via @archdaily

Beta Quach · December 10, 2010

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily via @archdaily - A very great use of space, just perfect for Asian tube houses.

pinar k · November 26, 2010

benim en sevdi?im restorasyon projelerinden biri.

gattabianca design · September 09, 2010
Yong Han Chong · August 31, 2010

@georgeclarketv restoratn in Singapore. Interior is modernized while facade stays. Your opinion? :) via @archdaily

JISUK LEE · August 04, 2010

another one.
55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily

Ng Mei Mei · July 28, 2010

More photo on 55 Blair Road home! Sometimes we need to dream a little dream.

Jamie | Peiling · July 18, 2010

@Bagaholicbog WOW that dream home looks like what I&#39d love too, fabulously chic stylish!

Bernard Tan · July 16, 2010

Damn.! 55.Blair.Road / Ong.&.Ong | ArchDaily

REHA GERÇEK · May 28, 2010

55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily:

Scott @ Cube Studio · May 07, 2010

Building of the year: 55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily

amelia · May 04, 2010 55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong

Vanessa Dorneles · April 02, 2010

Reading: "55 Blair Road / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily"( )

Lau Morelli · March 25, 2010

Me motiva para seguir haciendo arquitectura! Ame esta casa!!

carlos · March 23, 2010

this is an excelent excecution and example of a good refurbishment.

simple, strong and amazing solution.

inavars · March 09, 2010

what about privay?i would be able to hear everything thats going on in the master bedroom from the guest bedroom and see half of it too.and its gonna be a huge problem for the people in the master bedroom if the t.vs even a little loud.
the aesthetics are beautiful but i just dont see how the design can work

majchers · March 09, 2010 11:06 PM

Well, dear - you do not have to buy this house if you do not like it. Simple solution.

May Pantaleon · March 06, 2010

"55 Blair Road, Singapore / Ong & Ong | ArchDaily"( )

Daniel França · March 05, 2010

Arquitetos ou curiosos, vale a pena dar uma olhada nisso aqui,

Rafael Alcantara · March 04, 2010

Lindo projeto.

Billy Jack Carter · March 04, 2010

Architectural Daily - 2009 Renovation of the Year |

Edward Clarke · March 04, 2010

My dream home . . .

Mercedes Guardo de Calle · February 27, 2010

Maravillosos, son un orgullo nuestro pais.

Nick Allen · February 19, 2010

got to agree Nick RT @FineProperties This house is breathtaking

franki durbin · February 19, 2010

Sleek & sexy. Looks like a showroom! RT Gorgeous house! /via @dawnstiles

Nick Downes · February 19, 2010

This house is breathtaking

majchers · February 15, 2010

Great house. Excellent execution of a marvellous concept. I wish the front was allowed to be also touched (I assume it was not)...

Maria Paulina · February 12, 2010

Felicitaciones! Qué hermosura, me siento orgullosa por Ustedes que hacen quedar bien nuestro pais en el exterior.
Un beso

Steve M · February 12, 2010

A beautiful space in which to live and an awesome transformation from the old space which itself was nice, but not so open.

salobre · February 11, 2010

it´s an excellent exercise of design !

azie · February 11, 2010

awesome!! live in it, sure you love your life...

vigoss · February 10, 2010

I like beautiful?

Fetch me a drink · December 05, 2009

So, if it is raining, and I want a snack or drink, I have to grab the raincoat off the bed and go outside to get to the Kitchen?
Oh wait, then someone has to clean up the mess brought in. Call the maid above the Kitchen to fetch me a drink and clean up any mess. This is art! No mess allowed.

khali · September 03, 2009

i dont think this is fit for daily activity like we do everyday in our house. I feel like no human living there, more like robot.

Alex · September 02, 2009

Chic and elegant!!

Purvesh · August 29, 2009

stunning space, a very good use of a narrow strip of land. beautiful section

TINA · August 29, 2009


Johnny · August 28, 2009

Congratulations to the architects and designers! Love the materials and the overall concept of clear lines - the books wrapped in white fit perfectely into the scene!

futurearch · August 28, 2009

amazing house! outstanding design. awesome architecture! im loving it.

Nico · August 28, 2009

stunning design!
the whites, the spiral staircase, the frangipani - beautiful!

bamboo · August 27, 2009

i am from the bamboo home decor too, such house is really amazing. the house is going to perform much more function to the life, such as home office, resort alike entertainment, ceremony, small function room etc. it's perfect for fitting the future demand!

camilo · August 28, 2009 11:32 AM
sullka · August 25, 2009

That's by far the most beautiful interior renovation project I've seen in ages.

There are some "inner privacy" issues (probably issues to me, not the owners), however, still stunning work.


SIA · August 25, 2009

Viva Colombia! Bueno! Definitely NOT a design by Singaporeans, that's for sure!!!!!!!!!!!

BAJ · August 25, 2009

This is an awesome juxtaposition of a contemporary, refined interior into a historical, elegant exterior. One would not expect to find this beautiful living space from the traditional outside.

Superbly detailed, excellent choice of materials, fixtures and finishes; nice contrasts... a very inviting, very live-able space. Super job by architects, interior designers, contractors and the client.

I must, however, agree with some comments above that the white book covers are quite unnecessary, if not offensive to a reader, and take away from the richness of the volumes.

12345 · August 25, 2009

it is the nicest house i have seen in my life!
amazing quality of spaces.
beautiful interior design.
milimetrical excelence.

theDude · August 25, 2009

Beautiful to the last detail, actually feels cosy even though there is a lot of white. Well done!

wartian · August 25, 2009

ruin the past memories of traditional shop house/ town house live. the house is suitable for H2O, clinique, biotherm or other cosmetic products' showroom!

probably the “sterile” books shelf is another designer ego. do you guys watch 'I Love You, Man'? In the movie:

Paul Rudd (Peter Klaven):'do you play piano? there is a
piano there..'
Jason Segel (Sydney Fife):'no!'
Paul Rudd:'no?'
Jason Segel:'NO.!!! The designer put it there..!'

novan · August 25, 2009

cool...and make the heritage building came alive. i like it!
i hope bandung do something like this, so many heritage building in bandung is forgetable.

Ashwin kumar · August 25, 2009

Simply..superb project....juz anyone would fell in love with this beautiful master piece...n may i know the material used as vertical blinds in the courtyard....

guy · August 25, 2009

absolutely beautiful. detailing is amazing. the contrasts work wonderfully from the shop front facade to the minimal white interior to the industrialized zen courtyard. I can dig it.

uncontrol · August 25, 2009


simon · August 25, 2009

syyyyyyyyyyyyyyymple awsome, exelent in all aspects

David · August 25, 2009

killer house, the best urban house on AD by far. Great design and even better detailing. Fire the stylist, a bit too OTT, white books, are they real?

mark · August 24, 2009

twas gumsmacked,truly

fino · August 24, 2009

Gorgeous, but perhaps to much of a piece of feel like home. It's trying so hard to be a home, but it seems that if a sock was left on the floor, it would be like to desecrate a canvas. Oh boy, how ironic. To come home, and not feel at be ruled by beautiful strict order and cleanliness.

StructureHub Blog · August 24, 2009

Beautifully done; the old and strikingly new aspects of the home mesh quite nicely, and the open-sky courtyard's ethereality is emphasized by the vertical slats that point upward and channel light downward and the water that reflects it up to the sculptural form of the tree, which softens the effect of the built components of the home.

tropicalismo360 · August 24, 2009

I don't mean to be cheeky but digging a little deeper into this it looks like Diego Andres Molina
and Maria Arango are a potential firm in the making - and it would be a good one

Manuel · August 24, 2009

Colombian design, perfect!!

Kiki Ramirez · February 16, 2010 01:58 AM

De todo mi gusto!!! Grande Cami!!!

tropicalismo360 · August 24, 2009


Peter · August 24, 2009

Spiral stair done right....beautiful!

RATM · August 24, 2009

much much better than singaporeans' design!

Jeison · August 24, 2009

It´s fantastic. Someone said it´s a piece of art. Agree.

Lone · August 24, 2009

Just having woken up I read the architects as that abnoxious web host 1&1. Ugh.

OT, the pool atrium is an amazing space. The vertical clading and the tree just send it up and up. And its easy enough to mock the sterile interior as unimaginative or lazy but those books are just awful. If you dont read thats fine but a purposely fake library makes you look like an idiot.

alan · August 24, 2009 03:40 PM

Knowing that the owner has read all the "sterile" books at least twice, there is little reason for her to show off her literary interests, unlike many who simply buy and display the books to appear intelligent, without having read them!

apple · August 24, 2009

i think it's amazing..

oo · August 24, 2009

to sterile to enter..
is it build as a show room for corolfull magazines

sabrina · August 24, 2009

fantastic! A piece of art!

deaw · August 24, 2009

View from the pool towards the staircase is nice. Bathroom is nice,too.
Tons of white books on the shelf look strange for me.

gyl · August 24, 2009 01:54 PM

yah..looks like some stagy corner in martin margiela's show room or exhibition...

JustinM · August 24, 2009

Wow! Every square inch of this place is perfect. This is definitely the house of my dreams.

stan · August 24, 2009

look at the leaves on the glass canopy. a headache.

nischal · August 24, 2009

A very nice use of narrow strip of space, particularly in section by being simple and visually interactive. I the like the use of circular stairs being an element to connect vertically and at the same time subdivide spaces in all levels.

hannah j · August 24, 2009

I LOVE it!!! simple, neat, and it's my style ;D

d · August 24, 2009

its too neat for me, looks like if u want to do something with the room u gotta be really careful, or u'll be ruin it. Just too "stiff"..

frank Wilson · August 24, 2009

Very interesting texture. Iniatially I thought It was a great rendering. However, it is a very romantic, contemporary classic of what an Interior is suppose to look like. It is a very interesting way to join two spaces that normally we would see an empty corridor.

Great work!!!

INawe · August 24, 2009

I'm not so into spiral staircases but a beautiful project nonetheless.

Roomchitecture · March 04, 2010 05:11 PM

he must be a Max user, remind me the apple store.

mauricio · February 14, 2010 07:15 PM

Que luz y que espacios, dan tranquilidad. mauricio vila mejia

j · August 25, 2009 02:30 AM

This spiral staircase is perfect for this house. with the limited space and small floor plan, a spiral staircase would have been the best solution


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© Derek Swalwell

布莱尔路55号住宅 / Ong & Ong