A Tropical Waterfront Retreat for a family of five was the brief was for this home on a corner lot in Sentosa Cove. A fusion of tropical & modern architecture, the spaces are layered on top of one another, interspersed with Roof Gardens and Ponds that insulate spaces below and create deep reveals, which along with the wide roof eaves provide ample shading. Natural tactile materials were selected to create a quiet backdrop, the focus being on the abundant views of the waterway and lush tropical garden that surround the house.
Being Buddhist, the owners did not want a pretentious architectural showpiece, instead an eco-friendly home that would evoke and enhance the feeling of living by the water, and draw attention not to itself, but to the surrounding natural environment. The culmination of this close collaboration between the owner and architect is a multidimensional tropical HOME, with a true heart and soul that sits quietly in seamless harmony with its natural environment.
Large sliding glass doors with Low-e coating open to allow cool breezes to flow through the house. There are five ponds and one swimming pool in the house, which emphasize a waterfront theme, as well as assisting to cool the air that passes through the house. Recycled teak from Thailand was used for all the built-in timber work in the house.
We were engaged to design a home for the owner’s family and their lifestyle. The design approach was very much a holistic one, integrating architecture, landscape, and key interior design pieces held by the owner. It was a privilege to co-ordinate the design of all aspects of this project. The consultants were engaged by us, allowing active synergy between the project team, and a single point co-ordination contact for the owner.
Integration of Landscape
The client was very conscious to try and retain the large palms that existed on the site. We successfully integrated these lovely leaning palms into the design as a visual feature at the end of the swimming pool. The land to the north of the house is not actually part of the house plot. The owner successfully gained permission to landscape this area however. The house is orientated to look over this ‘borrowed landscape’, and with no boundary demarcation the land appears to be part of the house plot. There are several Roof Gardens integrated into all levels of the house, to maintain a connection to nature & provide shading, to moderate heat gain for the spaces below, and create visual interest.
There are five ponds and one swimming pool in the house, which emphasize a waterfront theme, as well as assisting to cool the air that passes through the house. The koi pond at the entrance not only provides visual interest for the visitor, but cascades to a pond at Basement Level for the Multimedia room to look out onto. The Attic Level infinity pond provides visual interest for the Attic Bedrom as well as moderating heat gain for the Master Bedroom below.
The Guest Suite at 1s storey was conceived of as a resort spa villa. The room is private, has direct access to the swimming pool, garden views, a rear courtyard with private Jacuzzi, a steam room, and large bathroom to comfortably fit a massage table.
Materials & Finishes
The primary structure of the house is Reinforced Concrete and Steel. The owner wanted to emphasize the landscape surrounding the house, and the beauty of the recycled teak timber of the house and the bespoke interior pieces that she had collected. We therefore used a dark matt flamed granite floor, to bring attention to the timber elements.
The staircase is the anchoring element on the first storey of the house. The wall behind the stair is natural steel, that has been allowed to rust to a certain degree to showcase its natural beauty, then sealed. We wanted to teak stair treads and stainless steel handrail to float independent of each other. The glass balustrade is suspended structurally from the handrail. There are LED lights integrated into each stair-tread to light the one below it.
1. Resilience to Climate Change
Passive cooling enhanced by large sliding glass doors that open to allow good natural cross ventilation, orientation of glazing to the North and South, vertical and horizontal shading to minimize the need for air conditioning. Use of recycled timber externally for decking rather than stone to reduce heat gain.
2. Resource Efficacy
Passive cooling of spaces as mentioned in (3) above.
3. Longevity = Adaptability + Re-Use
Recycled and Recyclable materials used such as timber, steel.
4. Harmonization with Place
Use of tropical natural materials, with wide eaves and large overhangs and vertical shading to keep the house cool. Integration of landscaping, Roof Gardens and Ponds to keep all spaces in touch with the natural environment.
5. Wellness of the Inhabitant
The house was designed specifically for the owner’s lifestyle, needs and requirements. Good natural cross ventilation, views to the garden and sea & city beyond, use of natural materials and good shading provide for a comfortable, healthy space for the owner. The owners are extremely happy with the house, exceeding their expectations.
6. Integration of Landscape
Integration of landscaping, Roof Gardens and Ponds keep all spaces in touch with the natural environment.
7. Design Process
Single designer to oversee all aspects of architecture, landscape and interior design. Active synergy between Architect, Engineers, Contractors and Owner.
Design Year: 2008 Description: A 2-storey Bunglow House with Basement, 5-Bedrooms, Multimedia Room, Attic and Swimming Pool at Plot ratio figure .70 Planning Constraints
Plot Ratio 0.77.
Maximum Height Control 11.7m from existing entrance driveway level