Skip to content
search
Homes Home Tour: This Multi-generational Home Fuses Modern Design And Practical Style

Home Tour: This Multi-generational Home Fuses Modern Design And Practical Style

Home Tour: This Multi-generational Home Fuses Modern Design And Practical Style
By Lynn Tan
January 17, 2020
This contemporary house interweaves architectural expression and symbolic meaning with the needs of a multi-generational family

The homeowner and his family have been living in this property for many years, but a growing brood of grandchildren prompted him to embark on a redevelopment project. His brief to architect Chan Loo Siang, design principal of Inte Architects, was simple: to build a multigeneration home that would cater to the needs of the family.

“Architecture is doing, not seeing; making, not impressing,” shares Chan, as he explains his design philosophy. With that in mind, he sought to design a house that is a thoughtful blend of modern design and practical style.

SOLID EXPRESSION

The architectural massing comprises two clearly legible orthogonal volumes connected by a link bridge overlooking the pool. “They are like two concrete boxes that are pulled apart on the sides, yet connected at the same time,” Chan describes. “The client wanted a sizeable pool and deck in between the two blocks, so we pushed them towards the front and rear of the plot respectively.” The external facades are finished in concrete, a material that Chan chose for its sense of permanence and solidity. He was inspired by the works of Belgian architect Juliaan Lampens, which feature the extensive use of off-form concrete that expresses a sense of robust scale, but in a fluid, malleable way. “I love that the off-form concrete appears brutal, yet softens under natural lighting,” says the architect.

The living area is styled with
B&B Italia tableware, Serralunga Cup
planter, and Kartell Kabuki lamp
The living area is styled with B&B Italia tableware, Serralunga Cup planter, and Kartell Kabuki lamp
A view
of the wooden
stairway from
the mezzanine
A view of the wooden stairway from the mezzanine
Equipped with a Lazy Susan, the dining
table by the pool caters to the family’s
large gatherings
Equipped with a Lazy Susan, the dining table by the pool caters to the family’s large gatherings

Two types of concrete finishes were used: off-form timber-textured concrete for the block up front and fair-faced concrete for the rear block. This distinction reflects the symbolic relationship between the two blocks. “The rear block is like an offspring, which is independent yet remains attached to the parent,” explains Chan. There is also an architectural dialogue between the dark grey timber-textured concrete which conveys a more rustic look, and the light grey concrete that has a more Japanese touch to it.

A concrete box housing the family room extends above the car porch. The juxtaposition of the heavy material with a cantilevered structure presents an interesting contrast that lends complexity to an understated expression.

PERFECT LOOP

The house sits on a slope and the road level at the main entrance is approximately four and a half metres higher than the deck towards the rear. It features a discreet main entrance leading from the car porch, which complements the understated exterior of the house.

Full-length
windows fill
the house with
natural daylight,
the living area is
decorated with
the owner’s
favourite
Poltrona Frau
furniture
and pendant
lights from
Moooi
Full-length windows fill the house with natural daylight, the living area is decorated with the owner’s favourite Poltrona Frau furniture and pendant lights from Moooi

The entrance foyer is on the mezzanine, which hovers between the pool deck and the main living and dining areas at the ground floor, and the bedrooms and family room on the second storey. The lift lobby at the foyer is next to a flight of stairs that leads to the master bedroom. A horseshoe-shaped bridge above the entrance foyer suggests a fluidity of movement that  permeates the entire home, linking the internal spaces in a continuous loop.

“When designing the circulation, I drew inspiration from the way Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi managed to orchestrate movement in her glass house project, Casa de Vidro,” Chan shares. To create this sense of movement, a series of corridors, decks, link bridges, and platforms increase the connectivity between its interior spaces. Openings on the facades reinforce the visual connection, while enhancing natural cross-ventilation with their north-south orientation. Vertically, the connection is established through staircases, lifts, and skylights.

A curved stairway beside the music
room leads t o the bedrooms on the
third floor
A curved stairway beside the music room leads t o the bedrooms on the third floor
A bridge floats above the living area
A bridge floats above the living area
The music room, which overlooks the
car porch, has become the owner’s
personal lounge
The music room, which overlooks the car porch, has become the owner’s personal lounge
A link bridge connects the house’s
two concrete blocks
A link bridge connects the house’s two concrete blocks

BENEATH THE SURFACE

The complexity of the crisscrossing spaces, volumes, and circulation required much attention. Chan conceptualised and resolved those using models, working simultaneously on the plan, section, and three-dimensional aspects. “The occupants can move seamlessly throughout the home and there are no dead corners. Every space and room is well-connected to the rest of the house, even in the basement,” shares the architect. To optimise the land area, a basement, which extends across both blocks, was excavated to house the entertainment room, gym, dance studio, and service areas, as well as a guest  room. “The homeowner had originally wanted a basement car park, but due to site constraints, we were unable to accommodate the length and turning radius of the ramp that was required,” Chan explains. True to the circulation concept that Chan devised, the basement remains well-connected to the rest of the house by incorporating natural light, natural ventilation, and greenery into the subterranean level. The project was not without its challenges. Even with a sizeable land area, addressing the needs of a large extended family can be tricky. Reconciling the circulation with the various levels and spaces was also no mean feat. Neither was working with a material such as concrete, which entailed meticulous planning prior to casting.

The perforated screens at the link
bridge play with light and shadow
The perforated screens at the link bridge play with light and shadow
The bedrooms feature a calming
neutral palette
The bedrooms feature a calming neutral palette

Devising ingenious design solutions that comply with regulations in terms of planning and envelope control, especially on a plot with a sloping topography, without compromising on the architectural intent also took much design fortitude. But in overcoming these challenges, the scheme becomes more robust, much like the material with which the home is built with and the ties that bind the family.

Tags

Homes

clear
keyboard_arrow_up

In order to provide you with the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

close