Goy Architects

Goy Architects is led by Goy Zhenru, who was educated as an architect in Singapore at the National University of Singapore and in Switzerland at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich. After working in both Switzerland and Singapore, she opened her own office in Singapore in 2015.

As an architect, Goy has created learning facilities (public and private), a farm-stay resort, residential, and, more recently, industrial buildings. As a designer, she has a keen interest in producing custom collections of furniture and decorative objects which serve to complement her interior and architectural works.

A supporter of vernacular architecture and craftsmanship, Goy adapts traditional forms to reflect a spirit of modernity. Her passion for relating architecture to its roots and history is a common theme inherent throughout her work.

Goy Architects

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Q&A with Goy Zhenru, Goy Architects: I find joy in supporting and empowering the local craft industries

Q&A with Goy Zhenru, Goy Architects: I find joy in supporting and empowering the local craft industries

Singapore took inspiration from Switzerland during its early nation-building years. How has your education in the European country (ETH Zurich) inspired you to be a better designer?  Technically, it has taught me about the refinement of design; culturally, it has reignited my interest in regional crafts and vernacular knowledge.  Why are you so keen on designing custom collections of furniture and decorative objects than purchasing them for your projects?  We love the process of making, so when the opportunity arises to develop a piece of furniture inspired by the project brief or client, we jump at it. Other times, we are interested in a specific manufacturing method, for example, a wire brush technique on timber that only a few makers can do; we introduce them through our furniture.  Which three designers, from the past or present, do you most admire? Why? I admire Geoffrey Bawa for his sensitivity to the local context; Ilse Crawford for valuing the unmeasurable in design; and Peter Zumthor for his poetic posture towards architecture.  What are your three favourite buildings in Southeast Asia? Too many!…

This Geylang Lor 24A shophouse by Goy Architects melds modernism with regional craft and aesthetics

This Geylang Lor 24A shophouse by Goy Architects melds modernism with regional craft and aesthetics

Sometimes, Goy Zhenru of Goy Architects observes wryly, “design happens accidentally”. In the case of this bijou home in a handsome Geylang Lor 24A shophouse built in the 1920s, serendipitous design outcomes certainly occurred on more than one occasion during the course of its renovation. The clients – a young Singaporean couple relocating home after a stint in New Delhi – decided to move into the second floor of the shophouse owned by the wife’s parents, who lived on the ground level. This marked the beginning of a multi-generational home – albeit one with independent access to the respective homes. Drawn by Goy’s reputation for liveable, tropical modernist spaces, the clients decided to commission her to create their new home even though their notion of “home” was a little vague. “We were still living in New Delhi at the time,” they explain. “All we knew was that we wanted something that would age well. In the end, the renovations and final design were very much an iterative process.” From Goy’s perspective, what came through clearly was the sense that her…