The existing semi-detached house was a 30 year old house that had stood the test of time. Our clients approached us for a reconstruction of the existing house- with the intention to cater for their family consisting of the couple and their 2 young children.
From the start, our brief was not to maximize the buildable area. The family appreciated the outdoors and the greenery in front of the house was to be preserved. It was a play area the children would most enjoy on an elevated land a few steps above the car porch.
In rethinking the use of the spaces, we sought to make the indoor spaces functional whilst enhancing them with a connection to the outdoors.
The ground floor public areas were “opened up” by demolishing the enclosing walls and enhancing natural light and ventilation with full height glass doors.
A generously spacious timber patio outside of the living room was proposed to allow the living room to extend outside. A textured featured wall continues the dialogue from the inside to the outside and effectively blurs the boundaries.
The result is a living room that is bright and airy. Stepping up to the dining area, the space for dining is similarly allowed to spill outwards with an extension of a outdoor timber deck – creating a romantic space for after hours relaxation after a family gathering.
The roof was redesigned to include a series of skylights above the straight flight of stairs to the second storey.
A generous family area greets one on the second storey. where a lush outdoor planter (which the Owners had a free-hand choosing the plant mix) spans the entire length. The planter is accessible by large sliding aluminum glass doors, and effectively brings in natural light and greenery to the upper storey.
The planter also is visible from the common bath to the family area and stretches to peak into the master bathroom.
The master bedroom is located in the front of the house. We designed the balcony space in front of the large bedroom with a more sensitive touch akin to a “sky patio” with a series of sliding timber screens. The Owners were able to adjust their placement in accordance to their preferences for lighting and privacy.
Marriot Hotel is located in the prime Orchard road district of Singapore. We were approached to propose for a new bar concept for the Marriot Hotel, Singapore. Our Clients’ brief was to recreate the ambience of a Japanese whisky bar and restaurant for the discerning urbanite. We were inspired by the New York whisky bar that was famously featured in the Award winning Hollywood film “Lost in Translation”. However, our location was not situated in a high rise skyscraper with vast views of the city. Hence, we sought to develop the bar as a destination for cosy and relaxed social interactions, bringing back the rich, dark and upholstered interiors to define the space for the bar/restaurant.
The main attraction was the bar counter that took center stage. This would be the space where customers have their drinks whilst having deep conversations with their companions or to glide into their own thoughts whilst enjoying a familiar drink in hand.
The well-known labels would be displayed on glass shelves with warm lighting illumination. The tables were arranged in intimate sessions for the exclusive enjoyment of fine food, drinks and company.
The hair salon is located at the new trendy business financial district of Singapore – the Marina Bay Financial Center. The basement shops boasts a myriad of retail shops and eateries. Mode is to be the first hair salon catering to this fast growing business district of the Marina Bay Financial centre.
We conceptualized a strong identity for the branding of the salon. The logo is based on a monochromatic theme that was fitting to the corporate image of the salon. The target audience would be the discerning executive with a keen appreciation of style.
Based on a similar palette of black and white, the branding extends into the interior of the salon. The reception was designed to be bold and dramatic.
The salon would be the first in Singapore to incorporate technology into hair styling. Ipads were used to capture customer’s image before and after the process. A photo studio was incorporated at the rear of the salon.
As the name suggest, it is a salon as well as an art gallery, with the introduction of art work on the white washed walls. The art work provides a talking point for both the stylist and the customer. The open concept allows the public a sneak peak into the changing art displays for the salon.
UNDERSTANDING AND SETTING OUT CLIENT’S BRIEF
We were engaged to design the new office for William Grant & Sons. Founded in Scotland in 1887, they are a premium spirits company which distributes some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky.
Our design brief was to relocate the company from an existing office of 100m2 to a new office area of almost 300m2. The company was looking forward to an expansion with the relocation of their headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore.
We surveyed their existing office and became familiar with their premium brands of whisky, including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum. These well-known brands have developed a strong global following and they were accompanied by strong branding guidelines. These guidelines formed part of our inspiration for their new office interior.
PLANNING CONSTRAINTS & IDEAS
The new plan for the office has an elongated rectangular form. The windows are on one of the long side of the space which are made up of rectangular and trapezium shaped windows.
From the beginning of our planning proposal, we desired that the office be naturally bright with minimal necessity for ambient indoor lighting. The office would be a open plan office which enhanced and empowered the occupants for active and easy communication and interaction.
We designed the meeting rooms to be on the opposite side of the rectangular plan so that these enclosed spaces would not occupy and obstruct the window areas.
MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION
A central circulation spine permeates the office and is clearly demarcated by a strong grey tone on the floor. The path effectively connects the office from one end to the other. Therefore, it is clear that the open office plan takes the ‘bright'(natural light) side of the office, and the rooms for meeting and amenities takes the ‘light’ (artificial light) side.
Along the side where the rooms are located, we decided to ‘ventilate’ the row of rooms with ‘green lungs’. These were spaces that we called ‘break-out’ areas where spontaneous brainstorming could occur.
These spaces are conspicuously lined with astro turf on the floor with the walls painted with a green hue. The ceiling brought down a cluster of virtual clouds to make these spaces stand out as more relaxed and interactive areas.
The meeting rooms are themed with reference to William Grant & Sons’ well-known spirits, viz. the Balvenie room was the main conference room, the Hendrick’s room was a cozy discussion room and the Sailor Jerry room was another meeting room.
The interiors were developed with reference to these brands’ respective branding guidelines.
A continuous artificial planter box lined the entire stretch of the open workstations to bring a touch of nature into this contemporary office space.
Our Client’s requirements were specific in their response to certain spaces. The living area was to be comfortably spacious and the dining and kitchen were important social areas both for entertaining friends as well as spending quality time with family.
In terms of comfort, the bedrooms and bathrooms had to be designed with the user in mind. We engaged the couple as well as their son and daughter in the expression and designation of these spaces. From the orientation of the furniture in the bedrooms to the selections of finishes and sanitary wares and fittings, we catered to the specific and unique tastes of the children, with an interest for individual expression.
Our design used a green wall as a buffer zone to detach the house slightly from the neighbouring house, giving an impression of it being detached. The front of the house is articulated with horizontal screens that helped to screen western sunlight whilst at the same time allow for views out from the bedroom
Green walls acts as a natural air filtration system, removing toxins and releasing oxygen to the environment. It also acts as a subtle noise barrier with its lush greenery.
We created a 9m tall green wall from the 2nd storey to the open terrace at the attic storey.
The bathrooms were planned at this location at 2nd and 3rd storey. The green wall grows vertically to reach the level of the open terrace at the attic.
At the bathrooms, the lushly planted green wall is an the inspiring, refreshing and calming feature wall that greets one as they enter the master bathroom at the 2nd storey and bathroom at the 3rd storey.
When the glass doors are opened, the bathrooms are naturally-ventilated. When the doors are closed, the user has full view of the green wall, which is visually refreshing for the user of the shower and long bath.
A series of vertical timber fins were designed along the length of the glazing to give a level of screening and privacy for the bathrooms.
The choice of solid teak wood for the timber fins blended well with the wall of foliage as a backdrop.
At the attic, the green wall is fully exposed for the full view and enjoyment of the users entertaining and relaxing at the terrace. The integrated vertical green wall indeed acts as the visual connection for the whole house.
We enhanced the greenery of the terrace by allowing for a extensive planter box that surrounds the outdoor terrace to the family room and the bathroom.
Our design concept was inspired by the iconic status the Flyer represents. Situated at a strategic location at Raffles Avenue, the Singapore Flyer affords a panoramic view of the city scape.
At the center of the Flyer was a lush oasis of flourishing plants and greenery. The central green space provided for a visual feast as much as a relaxing and tranquil back drop for shoppers to stroll around the open walkway at its peripheral.
We saw this green space as a definitive green lung situated in the heart of the Singapore Flyer. Our concept would be to bring this natural setting to the interior spaces of the Guest Lounge and the Ticketing area at the entrance foyer.
GUEST SERVICE LOUNGE
The space was for the purpose of providing a comfortable and classy area for waiting guests. A feature green wall fronts the reception and provides the perfect sense of arrival.
As an exclusive lounge, our design sought to provide a warm and intimate setting for these guests. The selection of materials, flooring, lights and furniture would be based on a palette of rich natural stone, soothing lights and comfortable lounge furniture for the elite clientele.
TICKETING AREA AT ENTRANCE FOYER
The central ticketing arena was a destination that the public went to for tickets for the flyer and associated recreational services offered at the flyer. It would also house all administration and offices within the space.
We proposed a central iconic ticketing booth that straddled the existing structural columns. The ticketing booth was designed to reflect similar aspirations of blending with the green surrounds. The facade was tiered with staggering planter boxes that would allow plants to flourish.
The project is an inter terrace house located in the lush verdant surrounds of Upper Thomson suburbs, facing the fields of James Cook University.
Our clients were a couple who had bought the old single storey house as their matrimonial home. The intention was to demolish and rebuild a new house.
Typical of intermediate terrace houses in Singapore, the frontage is 6m with a substantial depth of 21m.
Drawing inspiration from the lush greenery in the neighborhood, and the couple’s love for the outdoors, we sought to explore how the light and greenery of the outdoors can be brought to the deep interiors of the house.
Most intermediate terrace houses are deep and the first instinct is usually to maximize the floor area. The result is the central part of the house remains dark, with only the front and the rear of house enjoying natural light and ventilation.
Our strategy was to enhance the spaces instead of strictly maximizing it.
A planting strip is introduced at the front of the house to create a visual green separation from the neighbor. A continuous vertical wall spanning 2 and half stories serves as a potential green feature wall. The living room faces this wall at the 1st storey where one can observe the creeping plants climb to the 2nd storey where the master bedroom resides.
At the centre of the house, between the dining room and the kitchen, is an air well that is open to the sky. This allows ample light and ventilation to enter the kitchen and makes for an inviting place which the couple can indulge in their love for cooking and entertainment.
Above the staircase is a generous skylight and we designed an open riser staircase to further enhance the naturally lighted experience.
The master bedroom faces the front of the facade and we enhanced the outdoor experience with a double volume balcony that spans the entire width of the bedroom.
In order to mitigate the west directed sun from the frontage, a series of sliding vertical screens were designed. The effect is a striking feature for the house without compromising on the user’s comfort and enjoyment of the outdoors.
We were commissioned to design the flagship hotel for Marrison Hotel Group in downtown Singapore. The location is in the vibrant Marina Bay Precinct. It is a stone’s throw away from the National Library by Dr. Ken Yeang and the mixed-used South Beach Development by Fosters and Partners.
Targeting the premium business market, the intent was to make an expression distinct from the series of budget hotels already in operation along the same stretch of road.
Our strategy was to create articulations on the facade of the building with rising greenery. This would be a series of vertical screens with creeping plants that start from the street level and grows systematically to the roof terrace, thereby encouraging visual interest from the ground level upwards.
Every floor has a full balcony that maximises the views for the rooms. These balconies allow the hotel guests access to the outdoors; presenting a facade that is interactive and dynamic.
We envisage that this would make the hotel personable and exciting – distinguishing itself from the neighbouring developments.