Retrospective modernity

James Forryan
Friday 28 Nov 2008

Singapore house in synchronisation with the elements

This house is both modern and old-fashioned. It yearns for an era where life was slow and relaxed, of quiet contemplation and good conversation. It also possesses a modern spirit as it satisfies the basic functional and utilitarian needs of the owner while forging a relationship with the sun, rain, wind and trees of this region.

In an increasingly globalised world where the risk of cultural homogeneity is pervasive, this house seek quietly to initiate a dialogue on identity. At the risk of being presumptuous and pompous, the architects considered that they should ponder the question and ask whether we should try or is there a need?

Some physical features of the house surfaced from this pondering;a 2 metre roof overhang to deal with the driving rain and harsh sun, a balcony with a timber floor (differentiate timber finish on rc floor for main house), to relish the joy of a live, moving, giving and sometimes creaking floor. Boundary walls of neighbouring lots are assimilated and claimed by new house. This allows the new house to merge seamlessly into the neighbourhood. Timber is used prevalently and is from a renewable resource. This timber is stained dark and adds to the low scale intended so that the house and landscape will eventually be one.

This is a 2 generation home with their respective privacies. The mother stays on the 1st floor and the son with his wife-to-be stays on the 2nd floor. Guests and visiting siblings stay in rooms that are connected to the entrance foyer upstairs and downstairs without intruding into the 2 self-sufficient, independent spaces.

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