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Buildings & birdsong
Open House by Formwerkz Architects
Category: Residential Projects
Design Award and Building of the Year
THIS year's top winner is architect Gwen Tan's home. A founder of Formwerkz Architects, Ms Tan lives with her husband, son and his two grannies. The home is a lush, green sanctuary not only for its human inhabitants - but also for trees and birds.
The numerous trees in front of the property, as well as in its backyard, attract a myriad of birds including a flock of green parrots every evening. Beyond the hidden timber door at the entrance is a courtyard where a 10m tall Memphat tree provides filtered light from the glass roof.
The first storey comprises the living, dining and kitchen. A 13m-long lap pool forms the centrepiece of the indoor atrium on the second storey. "Skylights" built into the floor of the pool allows daylight penetration into the kitchen below.
The house enjoys an unblocked expanse in front, as it is shielded by a black ash wood and metal screen of varying porosity. High porosity above the pool enables breezes to move through various levels and cool down the spaces.
The day-lit atriums between party walls acts as amplifier of sounds from within and from outside where the family members can easily talk across the floors or hear what is going on around. Weather changes, be it a cloudy day or a bright sunny one, are felt from within the atrium. Even the sound and smell of rain hitting the road comes right in.
Goodlife! Makan by DP Architects
Category: Special Categories
Design Award and Best Project
Constructed under S$2 million
WE'VE read stories about seniors living alone, and waiting for welfare organisations to drop off their meals daily. But since January 2016, a group of seniors at Marine Parade have been coming to Goodlife! Makan to prepare meals for themselves and one another.
Goodlife! Makan is an innovative social initiative created by Montfort Care, a voluntary welfare organisation, to support ageing-in-place, built around meaningful pastimes that address the physical and mental wellness of seniors.
The centre is situated at the void deck of a block of flats with a communal kitchen at its heart. With its open design, seniors can freely mix with one another and the rest of the community. The fenceless compound reduces the social stigma and addresses the psyche of the stay-alone seniors.
While the kitchen is the main focus, the centre has its own dining, reading and entertainment areas too.
Aligned with Monfort Care's vision of ageing as an active and lively process, a vivid palette of colours and textures are used to create a distinctive and vibrant setting for the seniors.
Rather than depend on text, pictographs such as that of a coffee cup are used as signages, as the universal language to communicate with seniors from all ethnic backgrounds.
Seah Chee Huang, director of DP Architects says: "The team was mindful that as a community project with a strong social purpose, the key aim was to work very closely with the client and users, to ensure that we could unlock the most value and create a positive impact with the given funds."
House Off Cluny by RT+Q Architects
Category: Residential Projects
LOCATED near Botanic Gardens, the design of this two-storey bungalow is a partial courtyard scheme where the living quarters are centred on a large swimming pool which also serves as a water feature.
The three-sided courtyard opens towards a large garden. The house has three wings, the first housing the living quarters which appear to float above the swimming pool and the second wing has a long, granite-cladded wall which runs from the front of the house all the way to the rear of the site. The third wing is where the living room is.
The house is also visually and functionally defined by two long walls. The main one, which is part of the second wing, serves as a backdrop for the swimming pool, as well as separates the semi-private zone from the private family room and bedrooms. The other wall intersects this perpendicularly and separates the bedrooms from the family room, expressed as a series of bookshelves that end at the pool shower room.
Secret Garden House by Wallflower
Architecture + Design
Category: Residential Projects
TUCKED away in Bukit Timah, is this house, belonging to the owners of a construction company. With its unassuming frontage, it is easy to miss the home, but the owners are happy to have it this way.
Designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, and naturally built by the homeowners themselves, the house sits on an L-shaped site, and on uneven terrain. Wallflower saw the opportunity in using the sloping terrain to camouflage the bulk of a large house, and the lushness of a secret garden to screen it from prying eyes.
Visitors enter the house via a granite cave entrance leading to an "underground" lobby, before going up a steel and glass spiral staircase which leads them to the living room.
The house has two rectangular blocks that are perpendicular to each other but connected on the second storey by an enclosed bridge. The front block comprises the car porch in the basement, a large water feature by the living room on the first storey, and the master bedroom on the second storey.
In the basement of the second block is the entertainment room, with the kitchen and dining rooms on the first storey which overlook a lap pool. There are three more bedrooms and a study on the second storey, and up in the attic, a roof garden stretches across both blocks.
While some may like to have their living and dining areas together, the owners preferred the idea of detaching theirs and surrounding these by pools and gardens. Trees are planted heavily around the perimeter to form a very private enclosure, giving the home its name.
All areas of the home have plenty of cross-ventilation, even in the basement. Above ground, the bedrooms are kept passively cool by layers of masonry, air cavities, travertine stone cladding, roof gardens and pergolas.
Philips APAC Center by LAUD Architects
Category: Interior Architecture Projects Design Award
THE Philips APAC Center makes you throw out all preconceived notions of what an industrial building should look like. Located in Toa Payoh, the six-storey building serves as a hub for innovation and digital healthcare services, as well as the regional centre for Philips operations.
The design brief was to remodel the existing building's shell and create a workplace that reflects all the aspirations of Philips and its people through an innovative environment for staff.
The architects envisioned the various business units in Philips coming together in collaboration; thereby creating a flexible space that would meet the needs of a corporate workplace as well as with a built-in ability to adapt to the users over time.
Open staircases with gentle slopes were introduced to encourage staff to walk instead of using the lifts. This is in stark contrast to the old building, where no one used the enclosed staircases, preferring to take the lifts.
LAUD Architects say that the simple act of providing open circulation has greatly increased staff interaction.
On the outside, the building was conceptualised to showcase Philips' core business, which is lighting. The street level facade of the building uses warm light as a welcome gesture, while the higher levels take on a cool daylight white.
Enabling Village by WOHA Architects
Category: Special Categories
WHAT was once the former Bukit Merah Vocational Institute, has now been converted into the Enabling Village, a space where people with disabilities can now conveniently access a range of facilities and services catered for them, all in one site.
WOHA Architects designed for the village in Redhill to be an inclusive space that integrates education, work, training, retail and lifestyle, connecting people with disabilities and the society.
Old institute buildings have been renamed as "Nest", "Playground", "Village Green", "Hive", "Hub" and "Academy" - based on their characters and programmes. These are seamlessly connected by ramps, landings and lifts.
For instance, the new Nest building is anchored at the main pond and serves as a beacon, drawing pedestrian flow through the new linkways.
At the playground, a timber terrace is laid over the courtyard, turning it into an amphitheatre with integrated ramps. The open space between the Village Green and the Hive is reactivated as a garden yard with re-purposed nautical containers serving as bridges, follies and meeting rooms loosely scattered with recycled oil drum planters. "Up-cycling" continues as interior design features in the Art Faculty and Hive.
A series of touch-points at entries and strategic junctions assist with orientation and navigation. Each building is identified by a feature wall with coloured graphics. External lighting is designed to give a serene park ambience.
Building facades, drop-offs, cabanas and walkways are accentuated as beacons and connectors in the park. Art is integrated into the garden with building-scale murals, incorporating artwork by autistic artists.
Phua Hong Wei, associate at WOHA says: "We started with a dream to transform an old school into a new community heart in Redhill that is not solely for people with disabilities, but to connect them with opportunities and the society. By breaking down barriers, opening up, activating and sharing common spaces, the Village connects, enables and values everyone. We hope the Village can inspire a more liveable and inclusive society."