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At Home with Nature

Aligning their own design interests with their clients’ particular ideas, Park + Associates create an impressive house in Singapore where a sequence of spaces create the atmosphere of a regional resort.

At Home with Nature

Photography by Edward Hendricks (courtesy of Park + Associates)

It is no longer news that catering to clients’ needs is getting more and more challenging, as people continue to be increasingly exposed and well travelled. Coupled with the prevalence of social media platforms like Pintrest and Instagram with their overwhelmingly endless library of reference images on any theme or style, we (read: architects) live in exciting (read: challenging) times. Christina Thean, a Director at Park + Associates, shares that this was the basis on which she and her colleagues began work on House 24.

The clients, a young couple with three children, approached the firm in mid-2013, having seen one of Park + Associates’ previous projects. The brief was relatively simple and straightforward, with the usual request for a certain number of rooms and a swimming pool, but the clients had very clear ideas of how they wanted the house to look. Their ideas were largely based on references from their holidays to resorts in places like Bali and Phuket, as well as houses they had seen and liked in other countries.

The site is a corner plot at the end of a cul-de-sac; it is an elongated triangular shape with the short side facing the road, and the long stretch facing a forested area. Apart from a small pathway between the house and the vegetation, the land enjoys unblocked views towards the greenery, which presented a welcome opportunity for the project team to take advantage of the ‘borrowed’ landscape.

The first thing that can be seen from the road is a stunning double-height ‘screen box’. Consisting of rows of short timber panels arranged in a staggered pattern, this screen box houses an entrance courtyard, which was generated from the client’s request for an ‘entrance experience’. Thean shares that the conception of this was based on a more “layered sequence through the space, where the courtyard serves as a transition zone between the car porch and main entrance, as opposed to the main door facing the car porch.”

Within the box is a serene enclosure with a pond and two waif-like trees. The cool grey granite floor presents a neutral and muted backdrop to the warm tones of the staggered screens. The configuration of the timber pieces filters the late morning sun and casts delightful shadows. Coupled with the softer shadow movements from the trees, the careful curation of the various elements results in a space that (somewhat ironically) screams of quiet.

For the full story, pick up a copy of Cubes Indesign (issue 83) at any major newsstand.

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