K2LD Architects designs a GCB in Bukit Timah for a multi-generational family, arranged in a triangular configuration 

K2LD Architects designs a GCB in Bukit Timah for a multi-generational family, arranged in a triangular configuration 

K2LD Architects designs a GCB in Bukit Timah for a multi-generational family, arranged in a triangular configuration 

We have a fondness for featuring multi-generation abodes, enticed by the warm, familial ties they represent and, from the design perspective, the high level of creativity that architects demonstrate for such homes. This Good Class Bungalow (GCB) in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects embodies all this and more. 

Christened “The Triptych”, it is obviously made up of three distinct wings arranged in a triangular configuration, lived in by a mother, her two daughters and their families. Each block uniquely accommodates the residents’ lifestyle needs, while being part of a congruous whole, through covered canopies on the ground floor and a complementary palette of materials and consistent design language. 

In the middle of the three wings is a central courtyard, complete with a swimming pool. There, an elliptical void seamlessly extends down to the basement to introduce natural daylight and ventilation – done in the same spirit as the rest of the house. 

“The decision to adopt a triangular layout was primarily influenced by the plot’s shape. This also aligned effectively with the clients’ needs for individual private spaces (represented by separate wings) within the site, while still providing communal areas that promote interaction, such as the central courtyard,” says Ben Teng, a director of K2LD and the lead architect of the project. 

“[The more common] square layout would have been insufficient to accommodate the required functional spaces, while fitting harmoniously within the site boundaries, and responding adequately to the contextual factors.”

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, entrance
One of the three wings that make up The Triptych, a GCB in Bt Timah.

Of triangles, rectangles and ellipses 

While the building footprint forms a triangle on the 2,662.8sqm plot, there is nothing irregular about the wings. Each one’s massing is a rectangular block, though they vary in height. The main and second wing are each two storeys high, with the third one further topped off by an attic. 

To lend visual interest, a two-storey-high screen wraps around the corner of Wing 2 that faces the road from the second floor and upwards. As a result, it creates the illusion that there is an attic there too, enhancing the overall massing of the house.

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, courtyard
To lend visual interest, a two-storey-high screen wraps around the corner of Wing 2, creating the illusion that there is an attic.

To foster interaction between the generations – an important part of the brief – each of the wings looks into the central courtyard through expansive, full-height glass sliding doors. A veritable oasis in the heart of the home, it is made up of lush greenery and a swimming pool with organic curves. 

There, an elliptically shaped void was inserted “to complement the sinuous curves of the pool”, explains Teng. “In this context, a triangular void would have introduced angular contrasts that could disrupt the fluidity of the design. Additionally, from the perspective of viewing the void from the basement, the elliptical shape helps to avoid the creation of harsh angles that a triangular void would bring about, ensuring a smoother visual transition and gentler illumination into the basement.”

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, void
An elliptically shaped void was inserted “to complement the sinuous curves of the pool”, lending daylight and ventilation into the basement.

The spaces underground serve as a continuation of the communal experience, encompassing a wellness area with a gym and spa, and entertainment room, all thoughtfully arranged around the central void.

A cohesive aesthetic 

Back on road level, Teng points out the lengths they went to establish a coherent visual identity. For instance, Grigio Alpi, a grey limestone, was incorporated across all three wings not only on the exterior, but also as a cladding in key interior areas, such as the main living rooms. Paloma limestone was also used for all the areas on the first floor to create a cohesive aesthetic.

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, courtyard
To establish a coherent visual identity, Grigio Alpi, a grey limestone, was incorporated across all three wings on the exterior.

“In terms of interior design, we employed materials from a controlled colour palette, featuring complementary yet distinct hues. An example is how we utilised off-white and taupe wallpapers or champagne and bronze metal trims. This approach allows for individuality within each space, while maintaining an overall harmonious colour scheme,” he elaborates. 

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, interiors
Internally, off-white and taupe wallpapers or champagne and bronze metal trims were used to allow for individuality within each space, while maintaining a harmonious colour scheme.

Consistency was also enabled through the use of a common design language, manifested in several key features. One of these is the deliberate use of “disappearing” corners in each block, where they are recessed and finished with metal angles.

Additionally, the elements from Wing 2’s screen box were integrated into the other wings, albeit in a distilled and reinterpreted manner. Panels and inserts inspired by it are strategically incorporated, along with slanted panels introduced into the slim window openings.

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, courtyard
The elements from Wing 2’s screen box were integrated into the other wings, albeit in a distilled and reinterpreted manner.

Expressions of individuality

Teng did not just fixate on being cohesive – after all, there are three families living in this GCB. He also introduced a defining feature into each wing, which echoes K2LD‘s design ethos of channelling natural light into the space. 

In the main wing, the entrance has a double-volume foyer accentuated by a skylight. Beyond serving as the gateway into the property, it also doubles up as an axis to divide the layout between the formal (west zone for formal living and dining) and casual (east side for family dining and kitchen) areas. 

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, main wing
In the main wing, the entrance has a double-volume foyer accentuated by a skylight.

Wing 2 floors with a double-storey feature bookshelf, proposed (and accepted) at the client’s request for lofty spaces, particularly in the living room. Standing at seven metres high, it is a statement piece that is flanked by equally tall glass windows. 

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, wing 2
Wing 2 impresses with a double-storey feature bookshelf that rises seven metres in the living room.

The last wing is inspired by that nuclear family’s love for the outdoors and soothing sounds of a running brook. A water feature wraps around the first storey living space and is anchored by a commissioned teardrop sculpture. Full-height glass windows that can be opened run along the sides, forming a seamless connection between the interiors and garden. 

Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah by K2LD Architects, wing 3
A water feature wraps around the first storey living space of Wing 3 and is anchored by a commissioned teardrop sculpture.

Teng shares that having moved in for a while, the residents have expressed their happiness with the design and functionality of the house, including how he successfully balanced individuality and cohesiveness. 

“They have utilised it well for a variety of purposes, including hosting events. We are heartened to know that the space we crafted has become a true home for the clients,” he says. 

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