Ming Architects

Ming Architects is a design-focused architectural firm in Singapore known for creating well-crafted contemporary homes suited for modern living. The practice was established by Tan Cher Ming, who graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2007. Having worked at several renowned architecture firms in Singapore before starting his practice, Cher Ming has extensive experience in both the architecture and interior design of residential landed houses and specializes exclusively in contemporary luxury homes.

Over the years, the firm has rapidly become known for its bold and elegant architecture and has been widely featured in prominent publications such as Singapore Tatler Homes, Cubes and D+A, as well as international architecture journals Archdaily, Houzz and Habitus. The practice has a strong focus on both the building architecture as well as the interior design, arising from the view that holistic architecture has no boundaries between the two. In 2022, Cher Ming was awarded the winner in the Singapore Tatler Homes Design Awards for Best Architectural Concept for his project Carve House.

Cher Ming, a registered architect in Singapore and member of the Singapore Institute of Architects, takes great pride in each of his projects, and is passionate about the process of creating well-designed homes together with his clients. He is heavily involved in and personally oversees each of his projects from the first concept design sketch to delivery and handover of the home. He seeks to create architecture that is well-suited to each individual homeowner, guiding them through the whole process from the start of conceptual design to the completion of the building project.

Ming Architects

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The linear forms of Carve House’s architecture by Ming Architects are stacked above an expansive basement 

The linear forms of Carve House’s architecture by Ming Architects are stacked above an expansive basement 

Pass this stratum-like semi-detached residence by Ming Architects along the street and it is not obvious there is more to it than meets the eye. In fact, its name, Carve House, is equally cryptic. But enter the grounds and all is immediately revealed.  To mitigate what the owner felt was the challenge of a small land area of 325sqm, Tan Cher Ming, Principal of Ming Architects, decided to carve out a full basement and make it the focal point of the house. Anchoring it is a spiral staircase that rises from below ground up to the second floor.  Designed in a time before building regulations required basements to be closed up with minimal connection to the rest of a house, this project could therefore have a double-volume void above part of the underground zone.  While it compromised the liveable area on the first floor, it also means that there is an abundance of natural daylight streaming down through the multiple transparent glass panels.  “With this, we could create more space in the basement to accommodate the necessary floor area for…

The curved courtyard of this semi-detached house by Ming Architects strikes a chord

The curved courtyard of this semi-detached house by Ming Architects strikes a chord

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a “chord” is a curved line that forms part of a circle. It was therefore an appropriate word to use to name this semi-detached house by Ming Architects – after all, its most distinct feature is an outward-facing courtyard incised into its left corner along the party wall, arcing elegantly around a lone Caesalpinia tree. This solution, according to Tan Cher Ming, Principal of Ming Architects, was a response to the site conditions: a densely packed residential neighbourhood along a public bus route, resulting in heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. “We were quite conscious of all these factors from the very start, so we tried to bring privacy to all the bedrooms and living areas. That is why we came up with the idea of an open, external courtyard carved into the house,” explains Tan. Despite its off-centre location, it is very much a focal point of the house. The living and dining rooms look into it, as does the master bedroom. Immediately behind it too is the staircase that links all two-and-a-half floors. Because…