built for an avid collector of antiques and ultra modern furniture, EHKA studio’s jalan seaview house in singapore is defined by a composition of curved geometries. a fusion of sculpture and building, the residence embraces traditional concepts of tropical architecture while reinterpreting them in contemporary forms. its curved overhangs and columns transform what would otherwise be a rigid double-story volume into a soft, fluid space that breaks the mould of typical rectilinear forms.
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EHKA studio has designed the house on a series of columns that become a ‘curvaceous stiletto’, supporting the entry porches and illuminated dramatically by night. sensual curves define the entire project, from the building to the landscaping and groundscape, to the staircases and curved glass railings, to the edging soffit details and corrugated perforated metal sheets, and even to the interior cabinetries, furniture and fitting out accessories. these curvaceous forms create a sense of drama, adding a touch of ‘softness’ to the building’s grand spaces.
the total built area of the house is 864 sqm (9300 sqft), which is remarkable for a plot of this size, while all the rooms are pushed to the edge of the allowable setbacks. the sculpted roofs and floor slabs work within the allowable eave setbacks, while the internal spaces and balconies are pushed to the maximum building setback. the combination maximises space while creating a ‘playful’ facade.
‘our client’s goal was to maximise the site with as much internal floor areas as possible, and with each room being as large as it possibly can,’ explains EHKA studio. ‘the planning constraints we faced were mainly the URA and PUB planning guidelines. being located at low lying area, the ground floor is required to be elevated by around 1.5m from the road level. to negotiate the level changes, we created fluidly shaped steps that blend into the landscape. the entry approach from the carpark lot is sheltered by floating “pods” the follow the level changes. these pods are seemingly supported by only one stiletto column (but in reality, is also supported at other points for stability).’
although the dwelling is located in a two-storey residential zone, the singapore-based architecture studio has managed to squeeze in an additional mezzanine floor, which gives the owner additional floor space to house some of his antiques and designer furniture. to prevent the spaces below the mezzanine from feeling too ‘squashed up’, the entire mezzanine floor is constructed with glass, so the kitchen and bar area below the mezzanine still feels lofty. glass is also used generously for the façade and balustrades to create a sense of lightness. double-height glass in the living room allows the living spaces, with all its furniture and antiques to be on ‘display’ to the public. double-height sliding doors open fully at the living hall for the hot air to escape while large fans ventilate the hall.
‘the extensive use of glass in a home is the client’s requirement, and while seemingly counter-intuitive in the tropics, it actually worked to create comfortable and beautiful spaces when combined with passive design strategies which are adopted from traditional tropical architecture’, notes EHKA.
the western façade is mostly solid walls, and the double-height sliding glass doors at the dining area have an exterior sliding aluminium screen to block the western sun. the north and eastern facades feature large double-height glass, with sliding doors that allow the interior to be cross ventilated. ‘coupled with the ceiling fans, large overhanging eaves to provide shade, and pool and water overflow wall along the entire boundary to cool the surroundings, these design strategies help create a comfortable living space that can be used even without air-conditioning,’ concludes the studio.
name: jalan seaview house
architect: EHKA studio
size: approx. 9300 sqft (864 sqm)