Czarl Architects

No two sites or clients are identical. At Czarl Architects, it seeks to understand the needs and desires of each project. With every project, it carefully examines the intricate relationship between the inhabitants and their space alongside the relationship of the building with its environmental and socio-historical context.

Every design process is often an exploration of new ways to redefine contemporary relationships between people, heritage, home, and the sensory environments we occupy and move through. For it, that relationship is meaningful. It believes that every good design strategy reflects a key central idea, narrative, or essence. This can be expressed through the individualised details of the spatial composition, the discerning use of materials, and the clarity and creativity of the form.

It sees architectural expression not only as a result of many logical factors at work but also needs to be underpinned with measures of wit, ingenuity, and intuition. There is no room for a slavish obsession with style or architectural dogmas of the last century dictating that “less is more” or that “form follows function”.

Instead, it holds the perspective that design expression is driven by the endless permutations and inventive combinations of technical and aesthetic knowledge, socio-cultural, environmental, and political awareness, which are then synergistically assimilated into a creative solution.

Czarl Architects

portfolio

Q&A with Carl Lim, Czarl Architects: Architecture is an art form that tells a captivating story

Q&A with Carl Lim, Czarl Architects: Architecture is an art form that tells a captivating story

In your practice, you factor in the socio-historical context and heritage where possible. Why is this so important to you?Architecture is not only a visual and experiential pursuit but also an art form that tells a captivating story. By delving into socio-historical heritage, geography and collective memory, we unearth layers of inspiration. This approach allows us to dissect and reinterpret available contextual information, infusing it into our designs. It allows us to create spaces that resonate deeply with their surroundings and evoke a sense of belonging and continuity. You describe your architectural expression as being “underpinned with measures of wit, ingenuity, and intuition”. Can you elaborate on what you mean by this through an example from a past project? Let me illustrate this with a project example: Wat Ananda Thai Buddhist Temple. Inspired by the ephemeral beauty of the changing seasons, we sought to encapsulate this paradox. Adjacent to the temple stood a majestic Bodhi tree, casting serene komorebi (Japanese for “sunlight leaking through trees”). To capture this essence, we employed triangular mirror panels on the temple’s facade, reflecting the…

Czarl Architects designs a corner terrace on a triangular-shaped site to accommodate a four-generation family 

Czarl Architects designs a corner terrace on a triangular-shaped site to accommodate a four-generation family 

Looking at the four-level corner terrace that now stands on Lorong Pisang Hijau in Upper Bukit Timah, you would never imagine that this used to be the site of a one-storey home. Designed by Czarl Architects, a 586sqm residence occupies the 375sqm triangular plot where the owner and his family have been living since the late-1970s.  When the eldest son in the family’s third generation got married and had a child, the Tans commissioned the firm to create a new home on the same plot that would comfortably accommodate four generations. In order to meet their brief, Carl Lim, Czarl Architects’ Founder and Principal, developed a design that provided adequate privacy for each generation. At the same time, he ensured to promote a strong sense of connection and togetherness between the family units.  Named V House, it sits at a road junction next to a park full of lush trees, which Lim was careful to take advantage. This was carefully balanced with reducing the intensity of heat penetration through the eastern façade. “We asked ourselves how we could maximise the…

CZARL Architects designs 3ASH House, a brutalist-style bungalow that resembles a tiered village

CZARL Architects designs 3ASH House, a brutalist-style bungalow that resembles a tiered village

One good class bungalow composed of a series of interconnected villas. This sums up a project by Czarl Architects in Singapore’s prime residential neighbourhood of District 11. Sited at the junction of two roads on a fan-shaped, multi-tiered, 989.4sqm plot that slopes up from the front to the rear, the house, which has individual units elevated on the different levels, is reminiscent of a stacked village. The clients – a doctor and his wife – wanted a multi-generational, modern family home that would embrace the lush vistas of the surrounding neighbourhood. They asked that their house have a masculine form and bold architectural silhouette with a bunker-like look. They also requested a focus on natural materials for the construction. Carl Lim, Principal of Czarl Architects, responded to the clients’ brief with a brutalist-style, two-story house that includes a basement and attic, spread across ​​1,133.19sqm. The 1960s-inspired architecture is characterised by angular shapes and a focus on minimalist, over decorative, aesthetics. Lim and his team also tailored the design to address Singapore’s tropical climate with a deep verandah and latticework aluminium…