Open home, a cool tropical house intended for multi-generation living

Open home, a cool tropical house intended for multi-generation living

Architects: Chang Architects
Location: Singapore
Year: 2014
Photo courtesy: Albert Lim K S

“This house is intended for multi-generation living. The parents needed an ‘open home, a cool tropical paradise for the family’, encouraging their children to ‘raise their families here when they grow up’.

Designed with an I-Thou relationship with nature, the family and nature share the same breathing space. Plants, water bodies, and living spaces are integrated as one. The setting provides daylighting, natural ventilation, and passive cooling. It offers an ecological-friendly environment that promotes general wellness for all.

At the foyer, an old retaining wall with a history of leakage has been transformed into a green courtyard with waterfall feature. Visitors are now greeted with tropical rainforest plants and the sounds of cascading water, which can be enjoyed from all levels.

Working with the existing terrain, built-ups that contributed to the site coverage are utilised as planters for tropical fruit trees, to cool ambient temperature, and to insulate the interiors. On plan, the house is a green oasis amongst the neighbourhood, of landscape decks and cascading planters framing the bio pool and ponds. These are the catchment areas for rainwater harvesting, to be recycled for irrigation.

Planting verandahs of varying plant species line the peripheries of the rooms and overlook the central pool. This continues to form a planter bridge of passion fruits, where climbing vines provide sun-shade from the setting sun, and a privacy screen for the neighbours.

This house has become the popular gathering place for the extended families and friends, and it has also attracted a host of biodiversity – from bees, butterflies to squirrels.

By living with and constantly in touch with nature, this house offers fresh definitions for ‘good class’ living in the tropics. It reflects the great collaboration between the client and the team of consultants and builders, in making this contemporary tropical setting possible.”

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