Architects: Ong & Ong Pte Ltd
Location: 55 Blair Road, Singapore
Design Team: Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez.
Interior Furnishing: YPS
House Area: 288 m2
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Derek Swalwell
55 Blair Road produces a spatial experience that excites the senses by promoting light open plan living which is atypical of this type of housing. This residence brings a balance between nature and contemporary living in a renovation of a Art Deco-style terrace, gazetted for conservation.
Concept- To create a light open plan living space, whilst promoting a seamless transition between what is traditionally seen as the inside or outside of a house. The contrasting relationship between the metallic elements and subtle tones within the house create an exciting spatial relationship throughout.
55 Blair road project is a renovation and restoration to a traditional art deco style shop house. Originally the house was renovated 10 years ago. The new owner however believed it was too dark and desired more light in the living spaces.
Adhering to the conservation constraints of maintaining the existing envelope, a solution was reached. The residence was designed around a young professional who had a clear vision of how the house should appear. The final scheme met that vision.
Bringing light into this long plot was an important consideration. A large air well divides the two sections of the house allowing for maximum light to penetrate the living spaces. Aluminum-cladded walls wraps around the void. The aluminum bands reflect light into the living spaces.
The courtyard acts not only as a large light well but also encourages natural ventilation within the house. The intricate linear bands are a modern contrast that are a counterfoil to the traditional ornate façade. This metallic architectural language used throughout the scheme emphasizes a unity within the spaces. The subtle tones and metallic elements complement each other to create a common theme throughout the house.
Continuity of space was a key concept to promoting the relationship of outside/inside space. The first floor employs flexible glazed walls that lead directly to the pool. The main section of the house is separated by the outdoor pool and frangipani garden. When both sides of the glazed partitions are open the first floor becomes one large seamless space. This scheme proves to be an approach that promotes flexibility of space. The ground floor is not only a lounge and dinning area but an ideal place to relax and sit by the poolside. The intention to create a diverse space on the first floor adds great value and appeal to a property of this size.
The television and music appliances are hidden in recesses in the wall that are concealed when not in use by large pieces of art; this reiterates the concept of continuity of spaces. The lighting can be controlled by an integrated computer that can be used to set lighting moods within the house.
The entire second floor in the main section of the house had been allocated for the master bedroom/study space with an ensuite bathroom. The essence of the restored façade of the property is brought inside to this area as the traditional shophouse windows as well as unusual porthole windows form a focus here, letting in light and enveloping the new living space.
The rear section (service area) of the house accommodates the kitchen space, a powder room, the maid’s room and a roof terrace. A steel spiral staircase links these spaces. The internal courtyard divides the two sections of the house however the same choice of material is carried though the whole scheme to ensure unity.