Enclosed Open House and Water-Cooled House awarded 10th Singapore Institute of Architects Design Award 2010
Wallflower Architecture & Design’s Water-Cooled House and Enclosed Open House have both won this year’s Singapore Institute of Architects Design Award. The award recognizes industry leading design and it is also infrequent for a firm to garner two awards in the same category.
Quite naturally, both houses have very different responses to their respective sites and client’s bespoke requirements. What they have in common however are how they innovatively integrate planning, façade language and understanding of the local tropical climate culminating in modern homes that remain cool and comfortable without the common over-reliance on air-conditioning.
The Water-Cooled House employs water in several ways and in different places to achieve this effect. A pond on the second storey helps to insulate the living spaces underneath from the sun’s heat, keeping them cool and also preventing large thermal swings. The living room pavilion on the second storey is located in the middle of the pond and is open to views and breezes at the level of the verdant tree line. A long koi pond on the first storey paired with an airwell exposes a large evaporative water surface resulting in breezes encouraged by convection currents.
The Enclosed Open House responds to the dense, urban environment by inverting cultural planning norms in local residential architecture. It combines an understanding of traditional courtyard houses and climate to redefine space for private enjoyment. Large interconnected courtyards not only create continuous internal vistas of up to 40m, but are also the lungs of the house; the dissimilar material finishes within each courtyard result in temperature differentials that set up convection breezes. Timber fins on the second storey can be angled to capture prevailing winds. They can be adjusted for visual privacy and have an insulative effect against solar heat.