Semi-detached houses, also known as duplexes, are usually built as mirror images of each other. But in recent years, the nature of these structures is changing as new owners look to update the homes to better suit modern lifestyles.
The semi-detached house that once stood on this site was demolished to make way for a new, contemporary home that is a complete contrast to what went before.
Architect Robin Tan of Wallflower Architecture + Design says the owners wanted to use all the available space and height to create a large family home with a roof terrace that would maximise a great view at the rear.
"The formal expression of the house is also a response to a strict interpretation of local regulations," Tan says. "These stipulate that this must be a two-storey house, but we were able to include an attic level, which essentially gave us three storeys. In keeping with requirements, the roof needed to wrap down part of this upper level, so it looks like a two-storey house from the street."
The architect says the house couples two distinct forms a tall, narrow block the width of a single room, which houses the master bedroom, study and attic living space, and a wider block at the rear that accommodates children's bedrooms. But the composition was also determined by the choice of materials and the way these are used.
"Because this is a tropical climate, the house has a multilayered facade of sliding glass doors and windows, and a veil of operable vertical timber louvres punctuated by clear glass bay windows," says Tan. "There are also horizontal aluminium sunscreens and vertical blinds. The louvres and blinds enable the owners to control the sunlight and breezes coming into the house, and also the view."