HYLA Architects

HYLA Architects is an award-winning architectural practice headed and founded by Principal Architect Han Loke Kwang. HYLA’s work seeks to be timeless, unique and personal. Its experience lies strongly in designing high-end, landed residential projects. Its design belief has won the firm numerous awards, including the Singapore Institute of Architect’s Design Award and Architectural Heritage Awards by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. Its work is regularly featured in monographs and magazines internationally, including the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture. To be selected as one of the 1,000 exemplary works of architecture around the world is indeed a humbling accolade.

HYLA Architects

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HYLA Architects stacks two double-volume spaces in this Bukit Timah bungalow

HYLA Architects stacks two double-volume spaces in this Bukit Timah bungalow

“Is there a cave in the house?” Stand in front of this bungalow by HYLA Architects in Bukit Timah and this is a thought that might surface. Burmese teak-clad walls, the slender edges of a concrete shell and greenery are the main elements that pop on the front façade. These seem to wrap around what feels like a tall, empty space that gapes open like the jaws of a yawning hippo.  In fact, it is the double-volume communal area on the second floor, measuring 4.8m in height, that encompasses, from front to back, the swimming pool, living room, dining area and dry kitchen. “I wanted something grand, powerful and strong,” says Han Loke Kwang, the founder and principal architect of HYLA, who intended for it to counterbalance the crowded estate that the 533.4sqm plot sits within.  This bag of surprises does not just end there. Beyond it, to the rear, is another double-volume space, this time a landscaped internal courtyard. Half a floor up, it is perfectly framed by a cutout in the dry kitchen wall, lined with Pietra di…