ZIVY Architects

ZIVY Architects believes that all great design has a story to tell. It believes that all great design contains an intimacy that draws upon our response and interaction – how we feel, hear, see and touch. It believes that all great design is made whole by the cohesiveness of the little things. Through a series of study and questioning, its design process aims to be a curious walk-through that tingles the senses.

ZIVY Architects

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ZIVY Architects contains the structural frame of a semi-detached house in Frankel Estate in two slices of concrete

ZIVY Architects contains the structural frame of a semi-detached house in Frankel Estate in two slices of concrete

It is a common conundrum in Singapore: owners of semi-detached or terraced houses find themselves with land where the depth is multiple times longer than the width. ZIVY Architects’ latest project, located in Frankel Estate, is an example. Deep and narrow, with a ratio of four to one, the plot ran the risk of accommodating a residence that would mirror its profile, resulting in endless corridors and dark corners.  In response, the husband-and-wife team that runs the firm, Loh Zixu and Evy Sutjahjo, knew they had to come up with what they termed as “a playful mix” of well-ventilated and bright spaces. The first idea they proposed was a pair of tapered voids open to the sky and incised into two different parts of the two-and-a-half-storey massing. This was later reduced to one to enable a larger bedroom.  More interestingly, on the heels of this solution came the request for a flexible floorplan to allow the owners to easily reconfigure the house down the road. It therefore led to the inclusion of two massive pieces of off-form concrete walls that…

Q&A with Loh Zixu & Evy Sutjahjo, ZIVY Architects: We continually question and challenge ourselves

Q&A with Loh Zixu & Evy Sutjahjo, ZIVY Architects: We continually question and challenge ourselves

You believe that all great design has a story to tell. Share with us some examples of stories you’ve told through your design work. In the east of Singapore, within a small unassuming terrace house lies a grand indoor garden. The owners of the house, a very much private, elderly couple, dream of spending their days among the greenery together with their sons. With a continuous skylight above it and layered, porous enclosures all around, the indoor garden becomes more than just a hobby corner — but a living, breathing space that receives plenty of daylight and playful shadows. The house ultimately takes its shape after its very own users’ dreams. In designing homes, what are the three principles you live by in every project? Which three designers, from the past or present, do you most admire? Evy: Patricia Urquiola for her versatility; Peter Zumthor for his insane poetry; and Neri&Hu for their ability to take on projects of various scales and deal with them sensitively.  Zixu: Chang Yong Ter because photos of his works are not just “pretty” but…

Daylight and breezes are an integral part of Cascade House’s architecture by ZIVY Architects

Daylight and breezes are an integral part of Cascade House’s architecture by ZIVY Architects

Is it possible for a residence to be invisible yet stand out at the same time? It definitely feels that way with Cascade House in District 15, designed by ZIVY Architects. A narrow frontage of 6.1m means it is easy to miss it or mistake it as part of its neighbours. Look closer though and realisation will dawn that it is in fact beautifully composed.  Like a game of Tetris, the façade has two right-angled, folded enclosures on the first and top floors, and a peekaboo vertical screen made from timber grain and powder-coated aluminium square hollow sections covering a third of the second level. Curtain Creeper climbers are strategically planted along the third level, hanging down like a stylish fringe would on a statuesque model. It is obvious how the project got its name, what with the tiered effect of the exterior and the drapers flowing down.  “The façade design of the house is an aesthetically crafted response to a very functional set of requirements,” reveals Evy Sutjahjo, who is the Co-Founder of ZIVY Architects. “The folded enclosures clad…