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A view to the water Ong & Ong, Singapore

This low-lying, high-end house is by Ong & Ong Singapre

This low-lying, high-end house is by Ong Singapore architecture, facade, home, house, real estate, siding, window, black
This low-lying, high-end house is by Ong Singapore
Trends editorial director Paul Taylor look at a SIngapore house by atchitects Ong & Ong.

When your home is also your kingdom, the last thing you want is to catch sight of your neighbours on a daily basis. Clever design will build a sense of privacy and distance into the architecture.

This two-level residence was designed by architecture firm Ong & Ong Singapore with architects Maria Arango and Diego Molina at the helm. The house was created for a developer, so the design had to offer broad appeal, and at the same time follow the laws of feng shui, so significant in this part of the world.

Particularly important in this respect was the location of the residence on the site, says Maria Arango.

"Good feng shui will have the house on the highest point on the hill, looking down to a river. Here the residence is set on the uppermost corner of the property with the principal outlooks over the pool, which stands in for the river."

The open, expansive house is designed in a '50s style, but with a contemporary twist. Broad concrete planes, overhangs and natural materials provide the mid-century canvas, while the sleek steel supports and timber louvres add a modern sensibility.

Floor-to-ceiling glass ensures the bedrooms in this new ceiling, floor, flooring, interior design, living room, loft, real estate, wood flooring, gray
Floor-to-ceiling glass ensures the bedrooms in this new city house take in expansive views out to the pool and down the property.

The house responds to both the neighbours and the climate, with the front facade, which faces the pool, featuring a number of sliding screens that shield the interiors from the extreme western sun. These can stack back into pockets in the stone walls. The deep overhangs further ensure the ground level interiors are in shade most of the time. Static screens in the same timber to the sides of the house provide privacy from nearby homes.

Molina says the screens add an outer skin to the house and together with an emphasis on cross ventilation, contribute to cool, comfortable interiors, avoiding the need for constant use of air conditioning.

However, energy efficiency is just one major drawcard for potential buyers. Another is the home's expansive layout that combines a pragmatic infrastructure with flexibility.

"The ground-floor living and dining area is one vast, continuous space, offering an unobstructed view of the pool and front lawn," says Molina. "In this area teak shelves backed with stainless steel create a sedate feel, while the metal backing reflects light, brightening the recesses of the room. The floors on this level are limestone. The generous kitchen, with laundry area, is at the rear of the house, together with the garage. Strip lighting and broad external windows ensure these workspaces are flooded with light."

Midway along the open-plan living area a staircase bisects the shelving wall and leads to the level above. The staircase splits and leads one way to the spacious master suite with bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom, and the other way to the children's bedrooms and an adjoining playroom. Between these areas there is an open-plan volume. A multipurpose family area takes up the front section, while the rear of the space is set aside for an additional room that can be put to various uses, depending on the needs and preferences of the owner.

Contemporary city house in Singapore designed by Ong furniture, interior design, product design, table, white
Contemporary city house in Singapore designed by Ong & Ong

Partly enclosed, this area has been left as a flexible element that could be used as a study, or enclosed to become an additional bedroom.

"In the centre of this floor a sculptural metal spiral staircase leads up to the timber-floored roof terrace, which provides an open-air space for barbecues or entertaining generally," says Arango. "Right beside this there is a central courtyard feature, enclosed in glass but open to the sky above. This feature brings natural light down into the heart of the upper level and provides a focal point of view from most areas. In the future this will be filled with tropical plantings an oasis of green."

The broad terraces around most sides of the home not only shield the living level from the heat, they also ensure that all bedrooms have their own access to the outdoors. To further ameliorate the proximity of the neighbours, water features comprising pebble beds submerged in water, draw the eye and bring the sound of gentle rippling to bedroom occupants.

While the lower-level floors and central upstairs area are in stone, the bedrooms and stairs are in rich-toned teak.

"Essentially, the house is a serene suburban oasis," says Arango. "Mature trees were retained on the property, and from the limestone pool interior with its dazzling azure blue colour to the broad use of wood, stone and water features, the natural world is experienced at every turn."

Story by: Trendsideas

19 Jun, 2013