Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
29 Pebble Lane in Singapore by IX Architects Pte Ltd
June 23rd, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: IX Architects Pte Ltd
Presented with a long linear site of a archetypal terrace house, IX Architects was tasked to design a house for Mr. Choi, his sister and their parents. The house needed to cater to the different individual needs of the family members. Much time was spent in the first few meetings to understand the lifestyle and requirements of the family so that the spaces could be designed and customized for them.
Often times the general consensus with home owners whose only interest is to maximize internal areas is to construct the building right to the setback lines. Fortunately, the owner was supportive to set the building façade away from the setback line on the first storey, enabling an outdoor decking space to be created. This timber decking then became an extension of the internal dining room, where full height glass doors allow for interaction between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
The impetus for the design was the desire to organize the internal spaces so that the common living spaces and private rooms receive as much natural lighting as possible. This posed as a challenge as the linear site is sandwiched between a row of terrace houses, with the only available source of natural light coming from the front and rear of the house.
Another driving force behind the design of the house was the focused intention of shaping the spaces to cater to each of the family member’s wants and needs. The outdoor deck is devised for Mr. Choi to relax and enjoy his newspaper reading, with a higher ceiling to distinguish itself from the general outdoor space as well as timber flooring for a more homey setting. The dry kitchen, designed as an extension of the dining room is equipped with ovens and appliance catering to the baking needs of the sister. The wet kitchen remains as the domain of Mrs. Choi, pulled away from the rear of the building creating an internal air well and private orchid garden. The conscious decision to detach the wet kitchen gave rise to the intertwined relationship of the upper and lower floors; connecting each family member on the different levels by giving them a sense of what is happening at the rest of the house.
Selecting copper cladding for the front gate and car porch was a bold move that needed little convincing for the owner as they were able to appreciate the material’s textural qualities and its ability to age with character over time. The main building façade in rough-cast finish was given additional texture with the introduction of vertical groove lines.
Rooftop screens that allows climber plants to grow and landscaping were strategically placed to address the owner’s concern on the hot evening sun. The central light-well serves as a vertical stack that effectively cools the interior of the house by discharging warm air through the top level windows.
It was a delightful process; from receiving the brief, working out the possible designs with the owner, to overseeing the construction until handover. in addition to being a building that reacts to the local climate and context, 29 Pebble Lane is also a true reflection of the marriage between an architect’s aspirations and the owners’ individual characters and lifestyles.
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