The private house designed by Park + Associates in Singapore clearly differenciates itself from its neighbours. The design opens up the spaces to connect and communicate with one another across multiple directions, creating an expanded network of connections that increases the opportunities for familial interactions.
“The brief from the client was simple. They asked a house in which the various spaces are connected to each other and promotes interactions within the household. Furthermore, the client wanted a house that is markedly different from its context – a design with clean lines.” – Park + Associates
The design sought to heighten the occupants’ sensorial awareness and to increase domestic interactions. The scheme imagines domestic spaces connected within a flow.Key to the idea of flow are notions of connection and circulation, which informed the way the spaces are composed. Departing from the conventional approach where walls are used to define space, the domestic programmes are composed as interconnecting voids.
The key feature of the house is the ethereal envelope that veils the private spaces of the house. The perforation aperture, density, and pattern of the white screen was studied to understand how it would affect privacy, lighting as well as heat transmission. The adopted solution – white powder coated expanded metal lathe spot welded to steel sections provided a cost effective design feature. Detailing was kept minimal to reflect a clean and refined aesthetic favoured by the client. The interior finishes comprise a palette of white marble, granite slabs, and bamboo flooring.
The architects did a paradigm approach or mixed methods to test solutions on how houses adapt to open planning. The objective is to translate flow and open-ness not just through spatial implications but with the experimentation of materials as well. It was challenged by how translucent a house can be without sacrificing privacy. In this case, the white metal lathe– which blurs the boundaries between the external and internal.
It was achieved by having spatial configuration as the initial step, which moulded the lateral connectivity of the functions, followed by insertion of voids to emphasize volume that creates vertical linkage of the respective floors, concludes with the translation of transparency thru micro consideration on design detailing – the study of the metal lathe. After comparing different patterns/ type of screen, experimentation on the chosen metal lathe became the key in finding out the perfect balance between privacy and transparency.
The study was conducted by the use of mock up. These studies were:
1. Different orientations to gauge the amount of filtered daylight
2. Number of metal lathe layers to ensure privacy
3. Distance from one layer to another to enhance transparency without sacrificing privacy, and
4. Buildability – Detailing was extensive to keep the expression of the lines as cleans as possible, to guarantee no structures holding up the metal lathe may obscure the view of the users inside. Besides a house that extends to its surroundings, The spaces ”flow” seamlessly with each other which adheres to better interaction within the household.
Park + Associates:
Nicknamed ‘The house out of the floating box’, the house features a wrapped structure out of a convoluted mesh skin that appears as if it is perched atop a seamless glass front to form an inviting spatial gesture as one steps up past the tree canopy from the entrance.
“Key to the idea of flow is gestures of connection and circulation, which informed the way the spaces are composed. Departing from the conventional approach where walls are used to define space, the domestic programmes are composed as interconnected voids. The way the house interfaces with the lush foreground was achieved by composing basic geometric elements, infused with voids to detach from its boundary. This matrix of borderless spaces is a white translucent box. Functionally, it acts as a screen that brings filtered daylight into the house while maintaining a degree of privacy. Architecturally, it creates a permeable skin that not only dissolves the boundary between inside and outside but also defines the visual character of the house.”
Inside the double-height living spaces, the seamless surfaces bring together the best of its surrounding atmosphere by trickling in shades of light, shadows and reflections of its surrounding landscape to allow a smooth transition into the house yet offering a degree of much needed comfort and privacy to its occupants thru the mirage of the surrounding envelope from external forces.
This seamless fluidity is also extended vertically by connecting all floors with a beautiful central spiral staircase that is carefully positioned above a water feature that further complements the concept of the ‘floating box’, and is carefully designed to become the main focal point for social interaction to all members of the house.
Project name: Greja House
Location: 70 Jalan Greja, Singapore 488933
Coordinates: 1.324231, 103.955654
- Type By Characteristic: Contemporary House
- Type By Site: City / Town House
- Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
- Type By Materials: Steel House
Floor count: 3
Site Area: 353.50 sqm
Gross floor area: 392.22 sqm
Project Period: August 2013 – November 2014
Completion Year: 2014
Client / Owner / Developer: Fong Kah Seng
- Park + Associates – 46 Kim Yam Road, #05-04 The Herencia, Singapore 239351
Project team: Lim Koon Park, Christina Thean and Adrian A.Gesmundo
Contractor : CTH Builder Pte Ltd
Civil and Structural Engineer: YR2000 Engineering Consultants
Text Description: © Courtesy of Park + Associates, A’ Design Award and Competition
Images: © Park + Associates, Edward Hendricks