Upon reflection

A series of ponds lap at the edge of this remodelled house, enhancing the tranquil indoor-outdoor connection
View of reflection pool with granite stepping stones. architecture, building, condominium, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, siding, black
View of reflection pool with granite stepping stones.

Many renovation projects are designed to open up a house to the garden. This project took the concept one step further, literally bringing the outdoors in with a reflection pond that flows right into the entry.

Architect Ai Loon Yong of Timur Designs says the house originally had no connection to the outdoors.

"It was very introverted. In opening it up to the garden, we also needed to transform the landscape and create an inviting outdoor living area."

At the front of the house, a new slatted timber portico extends out from the entry. The path to the door crosses a shallow, tiled reflection pond with large granite stepping stones that appear to float in the water.

"The pond and the double volume created by the timber portico provide a much more interesting approach to the house," says Yong. "And because the pond continues beneath the front door, the visual link between the inside and outside is blurred. A new staircase in the entry is now suspended over the water."

Exterior view which features a fish pond. condominium, estate, home, interior design, lobby, property, real estate, swimming pool, gray
Exterior view which features a fish pond.

On the other side of the house, bifold doors in the remodelled living area open up to a new timber deck that abuts up to an L-shaped fish pond. The pond wraps around the living room on two sides, creating a tranquil outlook and helping provide cooling breezes.

Yong says on one side of the house, large structural columns sit within the fish pond, reinforcing the sense of the house as a floating island.

"We added more columns to this elevation to give it a visual rhythm," she says.

An existing swimming pool at the side of the pond was elevated and modified to better connect to the house.

"Before the renovation, the swimming pool was isolated," says Yong. "It was on a much lower level there was a big drop, and little connection with the family living area."

View of the outdoor pool area which features architecture, backyard, estate, house, leisure, outdoor structure, property, real estate, resort, swimming pool, water, gray, black
View of the outdoor pool area which features granite pool surround, landscaping, outdoor furnishings.

As well as providing a new deck, Yong introduced steps that cross the fish pond and lead down to the pool. New planter boxes ensure the greenery also remains a strong visual element.

A tropical pavilion with a clay tile roof and timber-lined ceiling is another addition to the landscape. The pavilion offers an extra outdoor seating area on a terrace that extends into the pool.

To suit the tropical climate, the landscape is lush and green, with plenty of large-leafed plants, frangipani and palm fronds.

"Opening up the interior to the outdoors has totally transformed the house," says Yong. "It has also provided good cross ventilation throughout the interior."

Aug 10, 2010
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