MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF A CORNER TERRACE TYPOLOGY
The Tan family has been residing on the single-story property for over 40 years as the estate’s original residents since the late 70s.
The decision to rebuild the property came as the eldest son recently married and is expecting the arrival of a grandchild. The Tans are planning for a future multi-generation home.
Name of Project: V House
Full Address of Project: 02 Lorong Pisang Hijau Singapore, 597787
Completion ( Year ): 2022
Building Type: Corner Terrace
Project Cost : S$2,250,000.00
Floor Area: 586.32 sqm
Project team : Carl Lim, Anditya Dwi Saputra, Khalis Sidek, Priandra Said
- C&S engineer : K P Chai Engineering & Management Consultants
- M&E engineer : –
- Quantity Surveyor : Otn Building Cost Consultants Pte Ltd
Contractor / Builder
- Content Construction & Development Pte Ltd
Photographer : Jiwen Bai
- All-Well Trading & Transportation Pte Ltd ( Ventilation Blocks )
- Prospec Surfaces Pte Ltd
- Earth Stone Pte Ltd
- Classic Aluminium Industry Ltd.
- Schindler Lifts Singapore Pte Ltd
The site sits at a prominent junction of 2 roads next to a park full of lush mature trees. Occupying a sizeable footprint of 375 sqm, the house has only 2 major frontages one with the longer side facing east while the other facing northeast where the park is
located. Interestingly, the most crucial aspect of the site is the triangular shape of the land with a sharp tapering corner, which presents some challenges to the way a building can be reconfigured from its current rectangular layout.
Design Brief/ Questions:
How is one able to construct a modern and functional family home that reaped lush vistas of the neighbourhood while keeping out the intense heat from its east facade? A more pertinent question is how does one maximize the land despite its odd triangular shape
and create new elements of identity for a 4 generation household? These were questions that the couple wished to explore.
- Of V shape plan and volume
The project’s central idea was to approach the site with the intention of embracing its unique qualities and turning perceived challenges into opportunities. With this precise commitment, the architects opted to push the building envelope to its maximum and embrace the resultant triangular prismatic volume as the logical conclusion of deliberate optimization of the building setbacks.
In doing so, the uncompromising volume of the house presents an unusual opportunity to approach the facade design of the house. Rather than enclosing the building with a typical facade of glass which does not serve to address the tropical heat, the architects envision the odd shape volume as a folded robust concrete thermo skin that acts as a blank canvas for assembling and puncturing openings, holes, apertures, cut-outs of voids and vents in all sorts and manners.
This playfulness of volume and vents stands in stark contrast with the black cantilevered monolithic slab over the car porch which runs along most of the home’s northeastern frontage.
Owing to the V-shaped plan, most of the habitable spaces are placed along the periphery of the building while spaces for circulation and utility are placed close to the center of the house next to the shared party wall with its neighbour.
For example, a 4-story staircase is placed at the front of the house to strategically enable the house to detach from its neighbour while bolstering privacy and noise buffer. From the front, the staircase is only slightly visible through the pore-like surface of ventilation blocks.
- Of Ventilation and View
In complying with the key requirement to achieve a delicate balance of maintaining privacy while optimizing the view of the old trees in the park and the sidewalk along its facades, the architect opted to employ several strategies for mapping the exact required scale and position of the vents onto different facings of the house.
For the north-eastern frontage facing the park, one particular mature rain tree was singled out as the subject of visual interest. This helped to guide the architects in determining the ideal size and location of the openings in the rooms at the 2nd and 3rd stories so as to frame the lush crown of the rain tree.
To address the intense morning sun, the fenestration strategy of the eastern façade took on a different approach. It is here that a singular cavernous vent is carved onto the facade, thus creating a huge open-sided courtyard that enables ample natural light and ventilation to reach into the deep interior of the house.
Trees are also introduced into the courtyard space to enhance the visual continuity of the sidewalk greenery outside of the boundary wall.
In contrast to both the front and northeast façade, maximizing of views and ventilation is prioritized over privacy on the attic floor due to its high vantage point. The robust concrete skin peels gradually away at its edges to form a corner frame of the distant landscape. As the attic loft is a spatial continuation of the floor below, one could catch a surreal view of the ever-changing skies from the son’s dwelling on the 3rd floor.