AR43 Architects

Founded in 2006, AR43 Architects is an award-winning design firm that has completed a wide range of works from commercial to hospitality, institutional, custom-designed residences and interior architecture around Asia. The firm is lead by founder Lim Cheng Kooi, who has more than 25 years of experience in the field, and who has received awards for many of his past works, especially through publications in top architectural journals.

The hallmarks of AR43’s design work lie in it acknowledging a responsibility to the built environment, understanding both the physical and emotional reconstructive potential of architecture. The firm’s works reflect simplicity in its use of basic compositional and geometric elements, specifically without any pretence or fixed style. Each design evolves around a synthesis of site and program, experimenting with a variety of architectural interpretations and ultimately, builds within client’s ordinary budgets in extraordinary ways.

AR43 Architects

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Q&A with Lim Cheng Kooi, AR43 Architects: Less is more, less is beautiful

Q&A with Lim Cheng Kooi, AR43 Architects: Less is more, less is beautiful

You have a prolific portfolio of residential projects. How have you managed to keep inspired while working in this space all these years? We always get excited each time we have a new commission to work on. It is the adrenaline that keeps us going all these years. To get inspired, we need to look beyond architecture, to different sources, in the most unexpected of ways; while having a walk in the park, a jog in the evening or listening to music. At times, even a chat with the clients or driving to a meeting could spark an idea. What more can be done to push the boundaries of residential design in Singapore?  To push boundaries, by my definition, is to build less, as houses here are getting humongous. I hope we can live more by the maxim of less is more, less is beautiful! Let’s not be obsessed about maximising the permissible GFA of a house. This is a mindset issue that I hope homeowners can overcome.  Which three designers, from the past or present, do you most admire?…

Discover how AR43 Architects masquerades this semi-detached house as a bungalow

Discover how AR43 Architects masquerades this semi-detached house as a bungalow

How do you design a semi-detached house to look like a bungalow? That was the challenge put forth to Lim Cheng Kooi, Founder of AR43 Architects, when he received the commission to design One Tree Hill House, located in the heart of the prime District 10. “That is everybody’s dream, isn’t it?” he quips.  Among the reasons for this brief was the owner’s hope to enjoy resort-style living, while in an urban setting minutes away from Orchard Road. Fortunately, there were several factors that worked to Lim’s advantage in making this possible. These included a sizable plot area of 6,000sqft and a long, two-sided road frontage of 44m, courtesy of the site being tucked in a bend.  To achieve the illusion, Lim focused on breaking up the massing both horizontally and vertically. Viewed from the side, it appears as if the second floor is made up of two cuboids, with one extruding more than the other over the lower level and providing shade for it. “Separating” them is an external courtyard with a Leopard tree growing in it, giving the…