RT+Q Architects

RT+Q Architects was founded in Singapore in 2003 by Rene Tan and TK Quek. Since its founding, the practice has been exploring architecture as an inter-disciplinary craft that combines both the elusive beauty of art and the rigour of building technology.

RT+Q has completed numerous projects, both built and unbuilt. Its built works range from individual houses, residential towers, commercial and office complexes and resorts, to master planning and, also, architectural interiors. The smaller scale projects allow experimentation with materials and detailing; while the larger ones provide opportunities for exploring issues of scale and form in urban contexts.

RT+Q has received numerous awards and mentions both in Singapore and internationally for its work. These include ones from the Singapore Institute of Architecture (SIA) Architectural Awards, PAM Awards, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Architectural Heritage Awards, ArcAsia Awards for Architecture and the World Architecture Festival (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). In 2016, The Capers in Kuala Lumpur was awarded by the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award. RT+Q was also honoured in the President’s Design Awards in the same year, where its director, Rene Tan, was named “Designer of the Year 2016” – Singapore’s most prestigious design accolade.

Apart from professional work, RT+Q is also an active participant in academia, where both founding partners have taught in the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (STUD), LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore, UC Berkeley, Syracuse University and University of Hong Kong. RT+Q has also received invitations to speak in forums and conferences around the region, most recently the President’s Design Award 2016 Recipient Forum II. In 2013 and 2014, Tan was also invited as both speaker and juror in the World Architecture Festival held in Singapore, and to be a juror to the 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin.

RT+Q operates in a studio setting and is built around a small group of individuals, each with unique expertise that contributes to various aspects of the practice. Its ethos is for each member to express their individuality, yet belong to part of larger team that strives towards the success of each design project. As part of continued education and to inject fun into the practice, RT+Q embarks on annual office trips. Some previous destinations include Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Spain and, most recently, India; where they went in search for the works of the great Le Corbusier.

RT+Q Architects

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A continuous balcony envelopes the second floor of a GCB in Holland by RT+Q Architects

A continuous balcony envelopes the second floor of a GCB in Holland by RT+Q Architects

Given the astronomical prices of Good Class Bungalows (GCB) in Singapore, it is typically the practice for their owners to live in them. Breaking from the norm was this client of RT+Q Architects, whose request was to design a house that could be rented out. In doing so, the residence had to aim for what it called “a universal appeal” for both its façade and layout.  Working in the architects’ favour were elements such as the low-density neighbourhood located in the district of Holland, lots of greenery between the plots and an upward-sloping piece of land. That the 1,500sqm site had a long driveway was advantageous too, since the client wanted the house sited as far back from the road as possible. A final request: something that was “easy to build and compact”. In response, the team, made up of Rene Tan, TK Quek, Jonathan Quek and Jes Ang, conceived a distinctive, square-shaped, two-storey building with a continuous balcony around the entire perimeter of the upper floor. This is perched past the 25m-long pool and lengthy entryway. They went on…