Contemporary A&A to an existing pair of semi-detached houses in Singapore by STUDIO WILLS

Architects: STUDIO WILLS
Location: Singapore
Year: 2017
Area: 4.500 ft²/ 418 m²
Photo courtesy: Khoo Guo Jie
Description:

“#6 is an A&A (Additions and Alterations) to an existing pair of semi – detached houses in the eastern part of Singapore . This pair of houses, ‘mirrored’ along a shared party – wall, became stark contrast in scale when one of the pair was rebuilt, dwarfing its other half . This spurred the owner of the other half to rebuild their house .

Arriving at a long drive-way of the new ‘extension’, a new flight of steps behind a screen wall, leading up to…

Planning Guidelines allow houses of 2 storeys and an attic with a permissible aggregate height of 13 . 1 m ( 4 . 5 + 3 . 6 + 5 ) . As the guidelines are imposed on all houses within the neighborhood , every house will be of the same height if they are built to what is permissible . The design objective to make the house appear taller than what is permissible thus became the starting point of # 6 .

…one arrives at an elevated high ceiling Patio…

The permissible building volume is sliced by large canopies, with floor lines masked behind ‘bands’ of ventilation blocks formed by the amalgamation of clerestory windows and parapet walls in this building material, resulting in a house with multiple stacked volumes . The placement of ventilation blocks of diminishing sizes from the largest modules within the lowest ‘band’ to the smallest modules in the topmost ‘band’, accentuates the building height through false perspectives .

…leaving behind the Car Porch and the road.

Ventilation blocks and deep overhangs, formed by large canopies, are common building material and element in this region evolved from a response to the climatic conditions . Their unique deployment in # 6 , results in a house which also appears like a sculpture rising amongst the ‘Sea of Houses’ in the neighborhood.”

Stepping into the Living and Dining, the existing staircase, with a new ‘peek-a-boo’ screen that rises over the existing atrium, connects the upper levels.
Advancing further into the house, a new covered courtyard takes central position…
…and provides visual connections.
The new ‘peek-a-boo’ screen conceals and reveals the proceeding spaces as one ascends the original staircase.
In the Family Area within the original house, one catches a glimpse of the Master Suite (within the new extension) and a new flight of stairs along the party wall.
In the Master Suite, a flight of steps leads up to the resting / sleeping zone elevated above its neighbours. Behind the bedhead is the Master Bath and Walk-in Wardrobe.
Placed within the ‘gap’, between the new extension and its adjoining neightbour, is the Master Bath that opens up to a view towards a planter.
Looking down, one retraces the path that leads up.
A new flight of stairs ‘snakes’ up and leads to the top-most floor…
…to the new attic with a view angled to the main thoroughfare and away from its immediate neighbour.
The unique deployment of readily available ventilation blocks and simple climatic devices such as deep overhangs in #6 resulted in a sculptural quality for the new extension.
As the sun sets, light seeps through from the interior to accentuate the floating planes and perforated ‘boxes’.

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