Architect In Charge: Masaki Harimoto, Ng Ai Hwa
Furniture: Courtesy of W.Atelier
Text description provided by the architects. The house is situated in a quiet residential neighborhood between Orchard Road, the upscale shopping street in Singapore, and the UNESCO World Heritage site 'The Singapore Botanic Gardens'. The planning of the house was initiated by the client's requirement for a private gallery to exhibit his art collection. As guests would be invited for viewing of the art collection, the gallery is separated from the other private living spaces.
A glass pavilion adjacent to the main structure serves as the entrance to create a formal sense of arrival. It is also a transitional space where circulation splits between guests and family members. Guests move directly to the gallery beside the entrance, while family members proceed via the entrance staircase to the living room and the bedrooms on the upper floors. To take advantage of the high ground with an open city view, the second floor with the living room is the Piano Nobile of the house.
A cantilevered terrace extends from the Living room to provide an outdoor space with greenery to assimilate a garden on the ground level. The living room is a L-shaped double volume space in section with a staircase crossing over it to link between the third floor and the roof terrace above. The house is categorized as semi-detached house, one of the most common building typology in Singapore, which shares a common wall with the neighbor. As the common wall does not allow openings, a central inner courtyard is inserted to bring in natural light and ventilation. Around the courtyard, one can enjoy the movement of nature such as the Sun, clouds, rain, the tree as well as the movement and interaction between the family.
In order to protect from the tropical sun and rain at the one degree north of equator, the triangular-profiled aluminum fins are installed at the glass openings of the entrance and the living room. The multiple circulation including three staircases, and the interlace of courtyard and the roof terraces create the architectural promenade where one freely roams about with constantly changing views inside the house.