Beauty on the inside

Saturday 09 Jan 2010

ONG&ONG completes luxurious Singapore home with lush central courtyard

The design of the house was figured as a building that adapts to the climatological conditions of the surroundings as well as to the specific natural resources available in the area (sun, light, wind, rain, topography) with the purpose of reducing the environmental impact of the traditional preconceived home. The client wished to maximise the buildable area of the house and at the same time achieve the most privacy possible for the design, taking into consideration that this plot is located between neighbouring houses. For this reason, the house is conceived as a mass container that faces towards its interior, around a central courtyard that behaves as an inter-connector, and functions at the same time, as a circulation pivot, a light well, a ventilation exhaust and a visual landscape focal point.

The predominant lines of the building are clean and subtle. It is intended to achieve a very simple modern language that can be able to bond and coexist with the natural surroundings. The building is composed by four principal elements; Basement (hidden underground) – ground level volume (aluminum cladding) – second level (stone and timber cladding) – roof terrace (pitch roofs and light openings)

At ground level the social areas are located: Covered car-park, main access, foyer, dry kitchen, dinning area, living area, powder room, guest bedroom, yoga and training room, lap pool, jacuzzi, boundary gardens and central courtyard.At the basement the service areas are located, including laundry area, service bedrooms, machine rooms, pantry, bomb shelter and storage room.At second level the private areas such as master bedroom, master walk-in wardrobe, master bathroom, two kids bedroom with en-suit bathrooms, home office, television room and reading room are situated.At the roof terrace a second entertainment area is located with a timber deck for sun bathing and the admiring the ocean view and BBQ area for outdoor entertaining.However, the four elements that compose the house, inter-connect among each other, through a central courtyard that allows ans generate multiple relationships within the surrounding spaces.

This home is designed for a family composed by a couple and two young kids, the service personnel and eventually one or two guests. Furthermore, this project was thought strategically around the sport training activities that the house couple practice daily: swimming, cycling ans running. The principal spaces related to these activities, like the lap pool, training room for static cycling and treadmill, and ground storey shower are directly related to facilitate the every day sports dynamics. For this same reason, the building is equipped with biometric reading systems to access the diverse spaces.

In order to benefit substantially from the natural sun lighting, the north and south facades are opened as much as possible with grand full height windows and balconies, while at the east and west facades, smaller and slimmer recessed openings with cantilevered projections are made to control the morning and afternoon direct heat strike. The pitched roof is designed as a series of repeating slopes that generate skylight openings which bring brighter luminance quality into the principal permanence spaces.

Crossed ventilation strategy is applied all over the building to guarantee the predominant wind proper circulation to naturally cool the spaces and accomplish energy consumption reduction and at the same time increase its thermal comfort conditions. Sets of pivoting vertical timber louvers and sliding timber panels skirt the main glazed facades, in order to protect and graduate the natural light entrance and wind current flow. This second timber layer becomes a second skin that wraps the front and rear facades to avoid direct solar radiation on the glazed elevations.

Environmentally friendly materials with sustainable properties are used in this project. Timber floorings are 100% natural grown teak wood with no additives or harmful compounds. On the predominant volumes, dense natural stone cladding is applied to increase the thickness of the facade section to delay thermal fluctuations and heat transference.Natural vegetation including mature native species are incorporated to the new building surroundings. This species ensure steadiness to the ground soil, taking into consideration that the basement works generate a major balance offset on the terrain. On the other hand, varieties of dense foliage species are chosen to create a more private atmosphere.

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