Buy, sell, rent or just ogle the best-designed homes in Singapore.

S+Arch Design employs a curlicued façade for this Sembawang Hills terrace house

S+Arch Design employs a curlicued façade for this Sembawang Hills terrace house

Pass this terrace house in Sembawang Hills too quickly and you might just miss its most interesting design element: a curlicued façade that gives it a graceful, monolithic form and an architecture that evokes calmness and tranquillity. Sitting on a plot of approximately 2,000sqft, it is designed by S+Arch Design, which demolished the original property on the site and built this new house to accommodate a total built-up area of 3,590sqft.  The house’s thoughtfully curated material palette – lime wash plaster, micro cement, oak timber, brushed metal, bush hammered granite and honed marble – complements its curvilinear minimalist silhouette, while creating a highly textured backdrop for its pared-back, Mediterranean-inspired interiors.  “The aesthetics are a fluid play of clean, straight lines and sensual curves. The façade’s serif swerves to shield against the heat of the western sun and provides the interiors with enhanced privacy, while double-height windows encourage interior ventilation and draw in natural light,” says S+Arch Design’s founder Stanley Tan.  “We were looking for a pure sculptural form, a monolithic volume where the facade design is seamlessly moulded out. The…

Award-winning studio apartment in Bukit Panjang by Metre Architects on the market

Award-winning studio apartment in Bukit Panjang by Metre Architects on the market

Here is a rare opportunity to acquire an award-winning apartment conceptualised by Woon Chung Yen of Metre Architects and featured in an array of design media, including designmilk, nevertoosmall and, indeed, ADDRESS itself. Situated in in Bukit Panjang, it is an attractively priced, one-bedroom studio unit, which has been uniquely customised. Faced with the task of incorporating all the functions of daily life into a compact space, many designers would have looked to a compressed layout with an emphasis on foldaway units. Woon has, instead, gone for a radically different approach, ingeniously taking advantage of relatively high ceilings to create a layered solution, with work and dining functions at the lower levels ascending to the bed at the peak of the “hill”. As he puts it, “When you move up or down this slope, the space changes, the function changes. There is openness at the base of the slope to meet friends; there is intimacy at the top of the slope to rest, to be alone. “Functionality is built into the design. Every step, every tilt, every indentation, every protrusion,…

FOR SALE: $820,000
A continuous balcony envelopes the second floor of a GCB in Holland by RT+Q Architects

A continuous balcony envelopes the second floor of a GCB in Holland by RT+Q Architects

Given the astronomical prices of Good Class Bungalows (GCB) in Singapore, it is typically the practice for their owners to live in them. Breaking from the norm was this client of RT+Q Architects, whose request was to design a house that could be rented out. In doing so, the residence had to aim for what it called “a universal appeal” for both its façade and layout.  Working in the architects’ favour were elements such as the low-density neighbourhood located in the district of Holland, lots of greenery between the plots and an upward-sloping piece of land. That the 1,500sqm site had a long driveway was advantageous too, since the client wanted the house sited as far back from the road as possible. A final request: something that was “easy to build and compact”. In response, the team, made up of Rene Tan, TK Quek, Jonathan Quek and Jes Ang, conceived a distinctive, square-shaped, two-storey building with a continuous balcony around the entire perimeter of the upper floor. This is perched past the 25m-long pool and lengthy entryway. They went on…

Studio iF redesigns four duplexes in a condo on Orchard Boulevard to create villas in the sky

Studio iF redesigns four duplexes in a condo on Orchard Boulevard to create villas in the sky

As design challenges go, Gwen Tan of Studio iF knew she was being presented with an unusual one when a property developer approached her to relaunch part of their condominium project on Orchard Boulevard with a new design angle. The reason for the change? The marketability of the four duplexes on the highest two floors, due to the required blockage (by law and for security reasons) of views from all bedrooms facing a specific direction.  Fortunately, during the site inspection, Tan suddenly had an idea, prompting her to question, “What if I could make your biggest constraint your biggest selling point?” Her proposed solution centred on merging the four duplexes into two, such that they stretched out across the building, thus making sure that the homeowners would not lose out on the views. “On receipt of the building plans, I was quite pleased to find a singular gap in the core, which presented an opportunity to create a brand new typology out of an amalgamated footprint,” she says.  As can be imagined, melding staggered duplex units was a hugely complex project.…

Wallflower Architects wraps a GCB in Bukit Timah with an Accoya wood screen and lush landscaping 

Wallflower Architects wraps a GCB in Bukit Timah with an Accoya wood screen and lush landscaping 

Almost entirely wrapped in landscaping, the latest residential project by Wallflower Architects is aptly named Touching Eden House. Creepers dangle down the Accoya wood screen and tropical trees are planted so abundantly that the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) seems to stand in their snug embrace.  Peel back its layers though and an amazing story emerges – one of strict setback requirements, challenging site conditions, changing owners and privacy concerns. In overcoming all of these issues, Robin Tan, the Principal Architect of Wallflower, was able to design this slice of paradise in Bukit Timah, specifically located along the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  “I always say that when you solve a problem beautifully, people actually wish they have this problem, so that they can adopt your solution,” quips Tan.  A long, rectangle solution  As evidence of just how insurmountable the perceived challenges of the site were, this tale begins with the sale of the GCB – or the inability to complete it. The original owners met with not one but two prospective buyers who did not exercise their option to purchase. It finally…

Stacey Leong Interiors makes over a bungalow in MacRitchie with a calm, minimalist aesthetic

Stacey Leong Interiors makes over a bungalow in MacRitchie with a calm, minimalist aesthetic

The green movement has made its mark on the architecture industry through sustainable design, energy-efficient buildings, renewable materials and the adaptive reuse of existing structures. Indeed, preserving a house is one of the most eco-conscious decisions any new homeowner can make. Another excellent reason for doing so: timeless, classic design.  This was the case for this bungalow in MacRitchie, which was conceived and built in 2005 by Bedmar & Shi, the firm of renowned Argentinian architect Ernesto Bedmar. “Their utmost priority was to preserve the architecture of the original house,” says Stacey Leong of her clients, who hired her to give the home a makeover. The first floor of the building houses an office, an en suite guest bedroom, a formal living area, lounge, kitchen, dining room and powder rooms; while the second floor has the master suite and three bedrooms.  “There were no layout changes, apart from converting the basement to a gym and installing an office in the front of the house,” says Leong, who runs her own eponymous firm. “For daily living, the client yearned for a…

Guz Architects crowns a bungalow in the Farrer Road neighbourhood with a well-landscaped pavilion

Guz Architects crowns a bungalow in the Farrer Road neighbourhood with a well-landscaped pavilion

For better or worse, we live in a time when increasing urban density, diminished resources and climate change are challenging architects, including those practising in Southeast Asia. It leads them not just to rethink their approach to green design, but also to convince reluctant clients to join the cause – if, for no other reason, than that incorporating climate-appropriate features is a sensible and, in the long run, cost-effective thing to do.  For over 20 years now, Guz Wilkinson of Guz Architects has been grappling with this very issue, always searching, in one house after the other, for ways to harness the natural elements to cool, shade and even power. His latest project – a 10,400sqft manse in the Farrer Road neighbourhood of the Botanic Gardens that is shoehorned into an oddly narrow triangular plot – is yet another salvo in his ongoing quest to create homes that quietly connect occupants with nature, but without being overtly evangelical about the process. It helped that from the outset, the client’s brief was a fait accompli. “They like greenery and gardens, and…

A bungalow designed by Local Architecture Research + Design in the Dunearn estate is topped with a “sun hat” 

A bungalow designed by Local Architecture Research + Design in the Dunearn estate is topped with a “sun hat” 

Houses with starkly outlined pitched roofs in Singapore are common enough. What is less heard of is them being likened to “a sun hat worn by farmers”. This is exactly how Local Architecture Research + Design described a bungalow it designed in the Dunearn estate. Less visible is the sizable kitchen, which takes up almost two-thirds of the first storey, included at the request of one of the owners who is deeply passionate about the culinary arts.  Another feature of the two-and-a-half-storey residence is the play of light and dark – something that is immediately apparent on the façade, through the use of grey tones. Collectively, they come together in response to the brief for a home that is “simple, timeless and elegant…with a really big kitchen”, says Cheung Yuting, the Principal Architect of the practice.  Collaborating with him on this project is 4PLUS8, an interior fit-out solutions firm helmed by Andrew Lim. While Cheung provided the bones for the house, Lim worked closely with the owner to customise the kitchen, as well as provide cabinetry in the entryway, living…

MAKK Architects defines a semi-detached house in Ang Mo Kio with a series of interlocking barrel vaults 

MAKK Architects defines a semi-detached house in Ang Mo Kio with a series of interlocking barrel vaults 

A quick glance at MAKK Architects’ latest completed project might yield the impression that the designer recently went on a whirlwind tour of cathedrals across Europe, or that the owners are deeply religious. Its Principal, Lee May Anne, immediately bursts into peals of laughter at the suggestions. “No and no!” she exclaims mirthfully. “But it is the first thing that everyone says when I show them the house.” The reason for these assumptions is obvious. The massing of the semi-detached house, located in Ang Mo Kio, is defined by a series of interlocking barrel vaults of various heights and widths. To Lee, the explanation boils down to mathematics, “I like complex geometry because it gives you the possibility of creating and crafting a lot of incidental spaces, which I love.” Complex feels about right. A virtual walk-through of the residence via floorplans, photographs and the to-scale model Lee painstakingly built had this writer all twisted up in knots. Another contributing factor is the life stages of the occupants. The owners are parents to four sons who range in age between…

Maps Design Studio reinvigorates this bungalow in Holland two decades after it first conceptualised it

Maps Design Studio reinvigorates this bungalow in Holland two decades after it first conceptualised it

Some 23 years ago, a two-storey, L-shaped bungalow was built atop one of the high points of the hilly Holland neighbourhood. Lived in by a family of four, it was conceptualised by Maps Design Studio and bore the aesthetic of a tropical resort that the practice is known for. Fast forward two decades and the same team was assembled and tasked to give the house a makeover.  Interestingly, while the assumption was that the brief would involve restructuring it to become a multi-generation home, it was in fact the opposite – to redesign it to accommodate the owners who have retired and enjoy entertaining.  “Now that their kids are all grown up with their own families, the house has fewer occupants. The project therefore became about how to reinvigorate the house,” says Tan Hock Beng, Principal of Maps.  In addition to replacing many of the building materials with newer, longer lasting ones, a two-storey block was added. The façade designs were also updated, with one section being expanded with rectilinear protrusions to create more liveable space.  The major thing that…

2nd Edition centres the 3 Orchard By-The-Park show suite around a social deck 

2nd Edition centres the 3 Orchard By-The-Park show suite around a social deck 

For interior designers, show flats can be tricky creatures to balance. By their nature, they need to be everything for everyone. Stylish, but not too stylish. Exclusive, but also inclusive. Attention seeking, but without being too out there.  With literally no room for variation to cater to individual tastes, the design must conjure up a one-size-fits-all aspirational space that suggests…

The Carpenter’s Workshop taps Japanese kirigami to design this terrace house in East Coast

The Carpenter’s Workshop taps Japanese kirigami to design this terrace house in East Coast

With its tall, recessed window flanked by square cut-outs of various sizes, the pure white façade of this terrace house in Singapore’s East Coast is immediately eye-catching. Designed by interiors firm The Carpenter’s Workshop, it is inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art of three-dimensional origami that also involves cutting. The three-and-a-half storey house, sited on a compact plot of 1,733sqft,…

Park + Associates imbues shophouse living into Parq Bella in Joo Chiat 

Park + Associates imbues shophouse living into Parq Bella in Joo Chiat 

Mention Joo Chiat and one of the first things that comes to mind are the shophouses that line the vibrant enclave. No wonder then that when Park + Associates was tasked to design a condominium located there along Tembeling Road, its response was to take inspiration from the building type. The outcome is Parq Bella, a five-storey, 20-unit boutique development…

FOR SALE
Mercurio Design Lab interlocks two triangles to form a spacecraft-like bungalow in Mountbatten

Mercurio Design Lab interlocks two triangles to form a spacecraft-like bungalow in Mountbatten

“Something cool.” This was the starting point of a creative narrative that concludes with a bungalow in Mountbatten that has elements of the Lamborghini Gallardo supercar, a spacecraft and the Greek letter that symbolises the idea of a wavelength. Disparate as they sound, the reality is anything but, given how it was conceived by Italian boutique practice Mercurio Design Lab. …

Resort-like elements meet Japanese minimalism in this apartment at Kent Ridge Hill Residences by AR-kee Design Studio

Resort-like elements meet Japanese minimalism in this apartment at Kent Ridge Hill Residences by AR-kee Design Studio

AR-kee Design Studio has designed a compact, fourth-floor apartment in Kent Ridge Hill Residences, turning it into a tranquil Zen retreat. The owners – a Singaporean banker and his Japanese air stewardess wife – wanted a home with a modern Japanese look and the atmosphere of a resort. Other than that, their only requests were streamlined storage spaces, a designated…

A terrace house by Freight Architects in Serangoon Gardens is inspired by shophouses and the Japanese concept of “oku”

A terrace house by Freight Architects in Serangoon Gardens is inspired by shophouses and the Japanese concept of “oku”

It certainly looks like someone parachuted a shophouse into a row of terrace houses in Serangoon Gardens. Even without hearing from the designer, Freight Architects, the architectural language of the residence clearly proclaims its inspiration. While the usual elaborate ornamentation found on them may be missing, the proportions, use of columns, simple pediment and spatial depth are all apparent.  “This…