- Designer : Erik G. L’Heureux
- Design Team : Chua Gong Yao, Patricia Chia
- Country : Singapore
Text description provided by the architects. A small hut like addition of 1,560 square feet (145 square meters) to an existing landed residential property in the Holland Village neighbourhood of Singapore is composed of a folded aluminium veil textured across the horizontal surface. This screen, set proud to the structural wall 10-inches (250-millimeters) mitigates thermal heat gain while producing a delightful pattern of light and shadow. The pattern across the façade is stretched along the horizontal axis, and stacked in three patterns, denying the normative conventions of scale to the two-storey object. Windows behind the veil are positioned to differing alignments and sizes, reinforcing a play of position and scale to undermine any registration of floor positions about the volume.
The veil itself covers opaque and transparent surfaces alike, rendering the architecture as a discrete, almost toy-like object. Four specific protrusions – two for the entrance and exit, one for the skylight, and one for an unobstructed view – extend beyond the veil in a form that appears to be stretched and pulled. These disruptions are fabricated in concrete extending the inner structure to the exterior. Various other windows need for natural illumination are faced with operable screens in the same veil pattern allowing ventilation, lights, and view without the normative disruptions to the architectural façade while creating an atmosphere of hazy diffuse light and comfortable temperatures.
Limited site area and setbacks transform the idealized hut form, carving it obliquely in plan, and thus creating a dramatic geological-like volume. Within, a bedroom, dining room and living room extension are found on the ground floor. A painting studio and gallery are found on the second storey, bathed in a veiled light quality as it is illuminated while protected from the heat and glare of the intense tropical sun. A simple yet generously scaled interior stair wraps about the interior chamfered walls, merging the various levels. Sandwiched by an 8-inch (200-millimeter) floor line and roof line, the hut house works with reduction as an architectural concept – reduction of materials, tones, and volumetric complexity – to amplify the presence of the veil and of the architecture itself.