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” 

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 room, bedrooms and wardrobes.

Dunearn estate bungalow by Local Architecture Research + Design, living
The bungalow in the Dunearn estate is the outcome of a collaboration between Local Architecture Research + Design and 4PLUS8.

A light and dark approach

When viewed from a distance, the bungalow stands out for its contrasting proportions between the bold roof and sleeker, lighter ledges and canopy. Cheung explains, “Due to structural requirements, the roof structural member has to be thick for robustness. Instead of trying to make it slim and sleek, we decided to express it as it is, facetiously likening it to a sun hat worn by farmers as a form of protection against the sun and rain.”

Sheltering beneath it is a family of four who are big on entertaining but constrained by the long depth of the 5,124sqft plot. Unfazed by this, Cheung adopted the naturally opposing elements of light and dark to define the space, functions and transitions. 

The journey begins in a dark, compressed foyer and continues through to the living, dining and kitchen areas, which are lined with tall glass doors. “These allow plenty of daylight and garden views in, enlivening the main communal areas of the first storey,” he adds. “The landscaping is always present as you move through the spaces.”

Contrasting against the white walls, where the owners’ art collection hangs, is a rich palette of grey and wood tones. Some help to anchor spaces while also doubling up as storage. “We wanted to express the palette in various textures and tonalities, such as tiles, paint and dark wood veneers, so that the space doesn’t feel monotonous,” he explains. 

Dunearn estate bungalow by Local Architecture Research + Design, dining room
Contrasting against the white walls, where the owners’ art collection hangs, is a rich palette of grey and wood tones.

The culmination of the house, to Cheung, is in the attic, with its open living space filled with plenty of daylight, “It allows the residents to bask under the symmetry and balance of the pitched roof above, while enjoying the views out from the rear terrace.”

This is a classic example of what he tries to do for every project, enriching the residents’ daily routines and rituals by “finding and creating little moments within the house” for them to delight in. 

A feast awaits

The kitchen is another high point, with its four functional zones: dry kitchen, walk-in pantry, working kitchen and back-of-house kitchen. Integrated into them are an extensive array of luxury home appliances and commercial-grade equipment. 

The responsibility fell upon Lim to transform it into a culinary haven. “The owner had specific requirements with regards to the placement of the equipment and flow of each workstation. She curated everything in the respective kitchen spaces, and we worked very closely with her to detail storage configurations and placements,” he elaborates.

For instance, the dry kitchen is designed for baking, featuring ample counter space and an oven from Wolf. It is also suitable for light cooking, facilitated by the an induction cooktop, also from Wolf, and paired with an integrated hood from Qasair.

Lim points to how it is primed for casual meals and socialising, with two islands topped with white Quartz. Guests have easy access to beverages of all kinds, such as in the drawer fridge built into one of the islands, a Sub-Zero refrigerator freezer with a glass door and a designated coffee nook. The colour palette extends from the living and dining rooms, a dark-stained ash veneer complemented by a neutral-grey laminate. 

Also worth mentioning is the working kitchen, where heavy cooking takes place. Commercial-grade equipment, such as an under-counter refrigerator and freezer, blast chiller and vacuum sealer, are found here to enhance food preparation and storage capabilities. The equipment includes the Rational combi oven, Miele deep fryer, a wall-mounted salamander grill, Wolf gas range, Unico wok burner and Halton extractor hood.

Says Lim, “In the working kitchen, pantry and back-of-house kitchen, functionality took precedence in the choice of material. Laminates and sintered stone countertops were chosen for their durability and functionality.” 

Dunearn estate bungalow by Local Architecture Research + Design, pantry
The pantry is inserted between the dry and working kitchen, for maximum accessibility.

Combined, the end-result is enough to make any Michelin-starred chef go green with envy. Who knows, maybe the owner could even be one too, complete with her own sun hat. 

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